This Mortal Call

We know people love their iPhones, but this is ridiculous.
We know people love their smartphones metaphorically, but this is getting ridiculous.

In “Disconnect,” opening Friday, Jason Bateman’s character essentially has an emotional affair with his phone, which rips his family apart. Still, he fares somewhat better than most people who pick up the phone in movies.

“Ransom”
Mel Gibson gets very shout-y in this 1996 thriller, possibly because Gary Sinise kidnapped his son. Or possibly his connection was bad. We’ll never know.

“Dial M for Murder”
Here’s the plan in this 1954 Hitchcock film: Ask Bad Guy to murder your cheating wife; you call her, and while she’s on the phone, Bad Guy comes out of hiding and gets a-stranglin’. What could go wrong? (A lot.)

“Swingers”
Lots of people die on the phone in movies. Jon Favreau lives in this 1996 comedy, but he leaves a series of answering-machine messages so awkward that death starts to look pretty good.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street”
In the 1984 horror classic, our heroine is on the phone when Freddy Krueger puts his mouth where the mouthpiece is and tongues his victim. Now let’s all go brush our teeth.

“Taken”
Would this 2008 film have turned out differently had Liam Neeson texted the guys who grabbed his daughter? “i dont no who u r but ill look 4 u & Finn u & kill u. :(“

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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Adam Vingan · April 18, 2013