Cellular Coverage Putting New Twists on Old Plotlines

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2.4.2015

Now that we’re approaching the peak of the movie awards season, it brings to mind thoughts on how technology can change the face of plot lines forever and ever. With the plethora of smartphones, free wi-fi and ubiquitous coverage, we can say goodbye to some stock plot twists that have (until now) stood the test of time.

The wire cutting stalkers
The first line of attack for creepy stalkers or assassins in horror and suspense films have the nefarious villain cutting phone lines to isolate residents off from the outside. Teen horror franchises now have to tell a very different story. Even the “can’t get a signal in the house” ploy is a stretch, especially with technologies like Cel-Fi. So the last resort has become the “forgot to power up the battery” dead phone syndrome

Any John Hughes movie
So here’s a guy whose stock in trade was teenage angst. But would The Breakfast Club gang ever have bared their souls if they could have spent their detention time Facebooking friends? Or in Sixteen Candles, what are the odds that friends and family members would forget a 16-year-old’s birthday when it would have been tweeted 1,600 times? And in Home Alone, it’s unlikely that the kid would have been incommunicado since the age at which kids get a cell phone is getting younger every day.

The Shining
‘So a family is stuck in a hotel resort with no contact of any kind to the outside world. Sure it’s an out-there film anyway, but no cell phone or Internet would strain credibility today. And besides, we can barely leave our homes for a 10 minute outing without our cell phones in hand.

The star crossed lovers or drug dealers or assassins
Countless films have had people missing each other by mere fractions of seconds. Nothing that a quick text wouldn’t fix.

The last minute declaration of love
A protagonist no longer has to risk his or her life (and dignity) on the streets of New York or outrunning security folks at Heathrow Airport to reach the guy or girl of their dreams before they leave the country. A simple call on their cell makes tons more sense.

The parental interference
A parent or sibling picking up the phone is a stock glitch in teen romance films. Couldn’t happen in a world where teenage cellphones are a given.

The no-signal crisis
Just take a look at this link to see how often this one has been used. With the service and technologies that are around today, we’re not sure how much longer Hollywood can get away with that one.

On the flip side there are those films where coverage strains credibility. Like Ryan Reynolds in Buried using his cell phone from a coffin in the ground. Or Natalie Portman’s character in Thor: The Dark World taking a call from a potential date in a cave on another planet.

Those uber-signal scenes led us to come up with a challenge for you: give us your thoughts on how cellular coverage is portrayed in film. We’re offering up two categories and all suggestions are welcome:

1.“They should have had a Cel-Fi” – tell us your favourite picks for no indoor coverage scenarios
2.“They must have had a Cel-Fi” – movies where cellular coverage went above and beyond realistic expectations.

By the Cel-Fi Team

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