It’s almost halloween! And you know what that means? Horror movies! So to get you all spookified into the Halloween spirit, we here at the TextNow Pop Culture Department would like to present the five scariest phone calls in horror movies (plus one action movie), as chosen by our panel of phone and movie experts.
Horror movies loved to use phone calls to scare the living pants off you. (Or, in the case of Hitchcock, to use phones as a straight-up murder weapon. To be fair, they used to be a lot heavier.)
As some of you may remember, there was a time when phones weren’t portable. If you wanted to use your phone you went home to do it, crazy as that seems. Your house phone was a lifeline to the outside world, and if it wasn’t working, then you were in big big trouble. Especially if you happened to be a teenager in a horror movie.
1. Black Christmas (1974)
It would be remiss to not give a tip o’ the hat to the Canadian slasher cult classic, Black Christmas, the movie that originated the classic horror trope of the phone call (and by implication the killer) coming from inside the house!!!!!! Fun fact, the director Bob Clark also directed A Christmas Story, making him the Canadian Christmas movie auteur.
2, Lost Highway (1997)
In any given David Lynch movie, there’s bound to be something that gives you the major heebie jeebies. In Lost Highway, both the heebies and the jeebies are given by Robert Blake’s mystery man (helpfully named “Mystery Man” in the credits). Our sad sack protagonist, Fred Madison (played by Bill Pullman), meets him at a party where they have the following ultra-creeptastic conversation, complete with Lynch layering deeply upsetting Eraserhead style industrial drone under the dialogue.
Mystery Man: We’ve met before, haven’t we.
Fred Madison: I don’t think so. Where was it you think we met?
Mystery Man: At your house. Don’t you remember?
Fred Madison: No. No, I don’t. Are you sure?
Mystery Man: Of course. As a matter of fact, I’m there right now.
Then — and this is the creepy part — Robert blake hands him a phone and says “Call me.”
On paper that might not look like much, but as delivered by Robert Blake in ghastly grease-paint, buzz cut parted in the middle, and his eyebrows shaved off for some reason, it’s high-grade Lynchian nightmare fuel.
3. Halloween (1978)
One of the advantages (or disadvantages, if you’re the victim) of land lines were that they came with a fair amount of cord attached, which as the movies have taught me, were always both long enough and strong enough to tie someone up or strangle them, or both.
In John Carpenter’s Halloween, Lynda (P.J. Soles), one of the many “teenagers” in the movie played by actors clearly in their late twenties, is an unfortunate bystander in Michael Myers’ somewhat troubling Halloween homecoming, but that’s the price teenagers pay for indulging in nookie when they’re in a slasher movie.
4. Taken (2008)
Taking a detour from horror movies for a moment: The immensely entertaining movie Taken, showed the world what we were really missing in movies was Liam Neeson being a bad-ass punching his way through France to find his daughter. In a break from cinematic tradition in Taken, the scary phone call comes from our hero, in a justifiably famous scene of some deliciously intense Liam gravitas: “If you are looking for ransom I can tell you I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills.”
5. Scream (1996)
Probably the most famous phone call in modern horror, the call that kicks off Wes Craven’s hilarious Scream movie, plays directly on the “the call is coming from inside the house” trope (or in this case, directly outside the house), and MAN does it ever work. It’s such a great scary intense opening that, unfortunately the movie (or it’s seemingly endless sequels) never hit again.
So while these five scariest phone calls in horror movies (plus one action movie) might make you fear a phone call, you’ll never have to fear a phone bill, with TextNow’s free nationwide Talk & Text!