Addicted to novelty since 2001

Cell Phones are the New Black

I recently read (well, actually listened to) an entertaining piece from Slate entitled Can You Fear Me Now. It discusses the emergence of cell phones as totems of evil in novels and movies:

Horror maestros from Stephen King to Takashi Miike have taken our ambivalent post-9/11 feelings about cell phones (they played a crucial role in nearly staving off a terrorist attack, but they were also the source of incredibly painful goodbyes) and reworked them into a vehicle for evil–ghosts, plagues, and rampaging psychos. The cell phone, in their hands, is not a tool of empowerment but another instrument of terror. Humanity’s going to hell, and you don’t dare call your mother.

The article discusses a Japanese film called One Missed Call, but I’m pretty sure cell phones are a common plot device in Japanese horror films. Mind you, I guess they’re not necessarily embued with evil in other films.

2 Responses to “Cell Phones are the New Black”

  1. Monique

    Funny, I was thinking of machines taking over world last week when I read on Slashdot about the slime mold controlling a robot.

    Now that I have a cellphone I should read How to Survive a Robot Uprising:

  2. jd

    i think that there is a long history of new tech making its way into scary movies. when radiation was the new kid on the science block in the 50s, wasn’t there a ton of movies with giant “radio-active” ants and whatnot?

    i can remember a tv show where everyone was hooked up to this giant mainframe through “eye screens.” everyone had all the world’s knowledge right in front of them, until the network crashed and people had to think for themselves again. it was a one-off 30-minute show and appeared right around the time my mom learned about the internet.

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