Saturday, October 31

Guest Post: How Home Invasion Films Could Change with Today's Technology

I would all like you to give another warm welcome to my guest here at CRR's! And also HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maria is a writer interested in comic books, cycling, and horror films. Her hobbies include cooking, doodling, and finding local shops around the city. She currently lives in Chicago with her two pet turtles, Franklin and Roy. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaRamos1889.

How Home Invasion Films Could Change with Today’s Technology

Films that were made in the past were great in their own time, but that’s all these films have come to be - things of the past. Can you imagine how different these classics from the 90s and beyond would be in today’s world? In the day and age of WiFi and a plethora of advanced technology at our fingertips, several of these overused movie tropes from the past would not make any sense. Many can’t go a full twenty-four hours without their cell phone, and the fact that villains would have to devise plans to combat all such technology in order to fulfill their evil deeds, leaves us with a number of plots that just wouldn’t fly in today’s tech-savvy world.


Take Scream, for example. Released in the mid 90s, this slasher classic was the first of its kind featuring characters who were aware of real world horror films. The entire premise of the film revolves around victims receiving mysterious threats from an unknown caller who then appears in a ghost mask and kills whoever was on the line. Of course, caller ID wasn't really a thing back then and many teens get brutally murdered over the course of the film.

It’s clear this movie would need significant rewrites in order for it to work in today's world. First of all, the killer uses a phone to torment his victims before he kills them. We now have caller ID built into just about every telecommunications device, and thanks to advanced GPS tracking capabilities, the killer's location would have been discovered almost immediately. Unfortunately, we’ve advanced to the point where there are now caller ID spoofing apps, and technology to outsmart these apps; but either way this technology would render the original Ghostface villains tactics obsolete.

Home Alone

Home Alone, another 90s classic, would also be completely different today. Following a power outage and all the alarms being turned off, the McCallister family scrambles to get to the airport in time for their flight to Paris and the parents don’t realize until it’s too late that they have left their 8 year old son Kevin behind. Of course, there’s no way to check up on him and all the direct flights back home are booked. Needless to say, this movie would’ve never happened today.

The McCallister family is generally well off and have a pretty nice house. It’s probably safe to assume all of their kids would have an iPhone, and with today’s WiFi capabilities it wouldn’t have been overly difficult to reach Kevin on the phone, through text message, or some app. Still, the McCallister's were loaded, and they wouldn’t have left their mansion unprotected meaning it would have been armed with the best home security system that money can buy which would’ve allowed Kevin’s parents to check up on him via online video and alerted the authorities to any intrusions. The two criminals who tormented young Kevin in more than one film would have been arrested immediately.

The Ring

The Ring, the first American remake of a Japanese horror classic, features viewers of a videotape inexplicably dying seven days after watching it. The plotline is a bit strange with the tape being haunted by an evil entity known as Samara who literally crawls out of the television and scares the person to death. A horrifying film at the time of its release, the movie still holds up to this day and many regard it as a classic. But VHS tapes are long gone, and now even DVD’s are on their way out with all these new streaming services constantly popping up. However, could she perform such a feat on a DVD or Blu-ray disc? It’s possible, The Ring could still work because Samara is technically a spirit, so even our current technology might not be able to stop her.

Funny Games

Funny Games was a sick and mentally disturbing game of a foreign film that was released in 1997, with an American remake in 2007. The film features a family of three that goes on a vacation to the countryside where two evil young men take the family hostage and force them to perform a number of sadistic “games”. While malfunctioning phones are shown in the film, many people have security systems in their vacation homes these days and even if the victims had knowingly allowed their visitors into the house, they still could have used the system to alert authorities. It’s also safe to say there would be more than one cell phone and surely some sort of tablet or computer lying around. Funny Games would have had a much different ending with our new device consumed lifestyles.


Movies are like a time capsule. The technology that's available at the time of a film's production cannot be changed. If you stop and think about it, today's movies wouldn't work ten years from now either. That's why it's important for us to appreciate the classic films for what they are. Writers today have to think about technology when writing a film set in modern times. Home invasion films are much harder to pull off in today's technologically sound world, of course we just have to be ahead of the times as so perfectly demonstrated in The Purge. While the technology references may become outdated and new systems more difficult to overrun, the home invasion trope will continue to entertain as long as it’s a possibility lurking right outside your door.


Blodeuedd said...

I will never watch Purge, it looks too scary

Melliane said...

ah yes that's true, we always need to take that into account.

Anachronist said...

I really enjoyed this post, thank you! Indeed the technology is a clear marker in what era the movie was made. It might be even entertaining - e.g. watching a James Bond who runs frantically from one shop to the other looking for a payphone...