Have you ever noticed that one of the most popular tools used in horror or suspense movies is that mobile phones run out of juice or lose signal? It seems as if every time there are characters who could be saved by a simple phone call, it suddenly loses all capability. Fortunately, this is a relatively unrealistic scenario with today’s phone capabilities. Most of the popular mobile phones you can purchase from a reliable provider like O2 should be very consistent in providing you with high quality service. But just for fun, here are a few of the most noteworthy incidents of mobile phone failure in films!
In this Cellular, which was entirely about the effects of a mobile phone controlling a young man’s actions – a popularly criticized cheap metaphor for technological takeover – the problem is actually that the phone has a bit too much in terms of capability. Fortunately, we still have a long way to go before our phones are “smart” enough to literally start controlling our actions.
The Hills Have Eyes
In this 2006 film, a character actually remarks on the absurdity of not having a signal, while claiming that he has no signal. “97 percent nationwide coverage, and we find ourselves in the 3 percent,” he says simply. It’s almost as if the filmmakers are throwing the cheap trick in our faces and daring us to notice it.
While not a film, but a television show, the hugely popular Lost still couldn’t escape the idea of commenting on a lack of signal. One would think that the fact that all of the characters are stranded on a mysterious island naturally means they won’t have mobile service – but instead of letting us assume this, the show finds the characters discovering multiple phones and radio towers on the island, only to then remark that they don’t have signal.
Just one of many examples in which characters demonstrate the height of negligence with regard to their phones, in this particular instance we see the Rachel McAdams character glancing at her phone in a suspenseful situation only to see that it has just run out of battery. Not only do most of us remember to charge our phones more often than not, but it is extremely rare for the phone to run out of battery while we’re staring at it! Still, that doesn’t seem to stop virtually every horror and suspense filmmaker from using this same trick over and over again.