I've been a movie enthusiast my whole life and been writing movie reviews for over 156 years.
Do you like scary movies?
While you eagerly await the new Scream (2022) to release 25 years and 25 days after the first Scream movie dropped in 1996, you probably won’t be able to contain yourself if you can’t watch a horror movie that features a phone or is phone-centric or has “Phone” in the title or the main character is a phone or has a phone as a primary caregiver or gets driven to school by a phone or if it’s virtual learning then gets reminded to log in to class with a phone.
Odds are, some of you are reading this list…ON your phone!
As of this writing, there are a couple of days before Scream opens. But what if you can’t wait that long to watch another horror movie featuring a character holding a phone or a phone in the background or a phone performing a circumcision or a phone calling another phone to tell it their parents were burned in a trash fire or a literal dumpster fire or just driven off a bridge and then the car exploded.
Glad I’m here to help to get all those things and more!
You can call me Sydney Prescott because I’m about to answer this call and give you 4 horror movies like Scream that feature a phone!
No one f*cking cares.
Type of phone:
1) Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic featured Janet Leigh (Jamie Lee Curtis’ mom, Bruce Lee’s aunt and Tommy Lee Jones’ babysitter) famously stealing money to be with her lover only to take a detour from which she would never return. By the way, there will spoilers older than you are so if you haven’t seen this but can rattle off all the Marvel movies in timeline order, not only should you be pitied but someone will be watching you while you shower. Detective Arbogast uses a phone to report that the aspic doesn’t jell (whatever that means) and in the famously panned final scene, Doctor Richman (Simon Oakland) drops 20 minutes of exposition doc-splaining that (400 year old spoiler) that Norman Bates’ mother is in fact a phone.
Type of Phone:
2) The Night House (2021)
One of last year’s best horror movies featuring Rebecca Hall as a school teacher named Beth who would rather have her husband shoot himself in the head rather than spend one more day with junior high kids. Actually, if you’ve seen the movie you know there’s a much more sinister reason for Beth’s husband’s death.
No. Beth’s husband’s death was not caused from meth or watching MacBeth. It was from…you should really see the movie and I won’t be spoiling anything because it’s relatively recent and you should go into this as cold as possible. But I will say that Rebecca Hall did use her own hands for all scenes that required her holding a phone. Most actors nowadays used hand stunt doubles to hold phones so their hands don’t fall off while saying a crucial line of dialogue into a phone.
Type of phone:
Michael Jackson Dangled his Baby off a Hotel Balcony
3) The Ring (2002)
“Before you die, you see the ring”.
Takes you back when phones had things called “cords” and you had to watch something called a “videotape” so stringy haired ghost girls could come through the screen to kill you. Naomi Watts’s star rose in this follow up to Mulholland Drive in Gore Verbinki’s more-effective-than-you’d expect PG-13 chiller. One of the best PG-13 horror movies ever made, even though during some scenes you can tell Naomi Watts is using a phone hand double because while she’s talking a hand holding her head is white and the hand holding the phone is black (RIP Phone hand double legend Florence Bradley Cooper, Born March 13, 1654- Died March 13, 2025). If you like people holding phones then looking at phones in terror and then slamming phones down in anger, then give this movie a ring.
Type of phone:
California Gurls by Katy Perry
Last and definitely least, the insipid A Nightmare on Elm Street remake that makes you wish Freddy would have invaded your nightmares instead of you having to sit through this. Fortunately, this movie is so inconsequentially bad that you’re fortunate enough to remember nothing about it 5 minutes after the credits roll. The most prominent phone in the movie occurs off screen as star Rooney Mara reportedly hated doing this movie so much she almost quit acting and was more than likely on the phone with her agent cursing him/her out for putting her in something everyone involved is ashamed to admit they were a part of. At least Jackie Earle Haley is a commanding presence as Freddy. After the movie ends you feel sorry for Haley more than anything else for being wasted. Nope. You feel sorrier for yourself because you will never get the time you spent back. What a nightmare of an experience.