The Calls Are Coming from INSIDE the House!

THE IDEA OF BEING WATCHED when you thought you were alone is classic scary stuff. And while it seems like another horror film trope, the “it’s coming from inside the house” shtick, like anything, had to start somewhere…

Black Christmas (1974)

Over their Christmas break, a bunch of roommate sorority sisters are terrorized by a series of raunch/Exorcist-style threatening phone calls. And then, one by one, the girls start to disappear… Who could be the culprit?

Black Christmas is the original “the calls are coming from inside the house” movie that spawned copycat flicks of the pre-cell phone, trapped in the house teen genre.

When a Stranger Calls (1979)

Here’s when the storyline gets its babysitter on. And check it out–the actress, Carol Kane, is one of Woody Allen’s wives–Allison Porchnik–in Annie Hall. Also, the actress who plays Annie Hall’s mom, the great Colleen Dewhurst, is in this flick. I don’t know what this means. Except probably I need to watch Annie Hall again.

When a Stranger Calls (2011)

Here’s the When a Stranger Calls remake of the twenty-aughts, starring the aptly-named Camilla Belle. Definitely worth watching her freak out in her cute little flustered private-school nasal “stop calling me!” She doesn’t get sweaty so much as dewy with fear.

Scream 1 (1996)

Scream uses the scary movie plot twist with self-conscious aplomb.

“Why do you want to know my name?” says Drew Barrymore as she makes popcorn. She’s kind of flirting with the evil dude on the phone.

“Because I want to know who I’m looking at.”

Uh-oh.

Lost Highway (1997)

Guess who subverts the line? Of course David Lynch does. Have you seen this movie? It’s pretty crazytimes. A twenty-first century film noir starring Patricia Arquette and Bill Pullman. Download-o-rama.

Related on The Smoking Jacket:
Norwegians Are Scared of Trolls, and Other Horror Flicks 
5 Horror Films that Were a Nightmare for the Actors 

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