Momhood

Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Don't Tell Mom, The Babysitter's Scared

When I was a teen, my friends and I loved having sleepovers. One of our favorite activities while sleeping over, besides raiding the fridge, was to tell ghost stories. We would go through our repertoire of "true stories," trying hard to scare each other, even though we knew the tales by heart. The one story that never failed to freak us out was the story of a girl babysitting who gets creepy phone calls telling her to check on the kids and that the caller is watching her. The story ends with the line, uttered by the police: "The call is coming from inside the house!" Once we heard that, we usually screamed and then couldn't sleep for hours.

Fast forward to 2006 and Hollywood has once again decided to capitalize on our worst fears. Here's a synopsis of a new movie called When A Stranger Calls:

In a remote hilltop house, high school student Jill Johnson settles in for a routine night of babysitting. With the children sound asleep and a beautiful home to explore, she locks the door and sets the alarm. But when a series of eerie phone calls from a stranger insists that she check the children, Jill begins to panic. Fear escalates to terror when she has the calls traced and learns that the calls are coming from inside the house. Jill must summon all of her inner strength if she is going to fight back and make it out of the house alive.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that every single mom I know that has children of babysitting age has absolutely forbidden their kids from seeing this movie. And if that's not enough, even the kids, who generally love going to movies and being scared to death, are not willing to go.

I find several things very amusing about this movie. First, that it's a story as old as the hills and it's being rehashed...apparently effectively. Secondly, that in this day and age of caller ID and high tech security systems, movie villains are able to use the same old scare tactics, and have us cringing not laughing. And finally, that universally we parents understand that no matter how old or cynical our kids have become, they're never too old to be scared out of their wits. In some strange way, it's reassuring to know that some things never change.

20 Comments:

At 8:13 AM , Blogger Linda said...

So glad my kids aren't old enough for that stuff yet! But I'll be praying that my regular sitter doesn't go see this thing!

 
At 9:53 AM , Blogger Marisa said...

You're bringing back frightening memories Karen! But I have to tell you, that movie is actually a REMAKE of a movie that starred Carole Kane and scared the socks off of me (1979 version)! Babysitting was never the same, especially if the kids' bedroom was upstairs and there were lots of windows.

 
At 10:51 AM , Blogger Erin said...

That story scares the be-gee-zers out of me. I can't believe they are making the movie. But I can assure you I will NOT be going to see it! *creepy shiver*

 
At 12:51 PM , Blogger Plumkrazzee said...

I saw the previews....and even I would not watch it! There is something people like about scared out of their wits, though...I wonder why that is?!

 
At 1:21 PM , Blogger Jess Riley said...

I loved Carol Kane in the original...and the sequel was very scary, too. (I'll never forget the part where the killer comes out of the brickwork, so to speak.)

Happy Tuesday!

 
At 6:18 AM , Blogger Robin said...

Ahhh, I led quite a sheltered childhood...My mom never would have let me see a movie like that! Hi Karen! I'm here from Michele's!

 
At 9:07 AM , Anonymous Paul Sveda said...

As a kid I loved scaring the crap out of myelf and friends. Something about the combination of adrenaline and being with friends. I am not a fan of the knee-jerk reaction to not let kids see the movie. However I also know that Hollywood lacks any common sense and can take a perfectly classic story of fear and spin it into something a little too hard core for kids. Just my 2 cents. Anyways, thanks for stoping by my blog this weekend.

cheers

P.

 
At 9:15 AM , Anonymous Scouser said...

Interesting notions tho I think this is just another scare the teenagers movie. Why is it that the (usually) teen female waits for about 2/3 - 3/4 of the movie before (s)he decides there is something not right here and contacts the authorities. One maybe 2 wierd events and any SANE / SENSIBLE person is going to call the cops. I supose the wife is right in her asumptions, if they did what normal people did then the movie would be cr@p.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Michele sent me in a roundabout fashion.

 
At 8:50 AM , Blogger Zephra said...

I just kept thinking...why doesn't she just *69 him? We are so spoiled by technology...

 
At 10:28 AM , Blogger Juliabohemian said...

that was a great movie with Carol Kane and Charles Durning as the detective. AND they made a sequel in the 90's about the same guy coming after her again, "When a stranger calls back." Both excellent. I never liked being alone at night when I was around that age. I would turn EVERY light in the house on and close all the curtains.

 
At 12:04 PM , Blogger angela marie said...

I was babysitting age when that movie first was out way back when. Scared the s*** out of me.

 
At 9:55 PM , Blogger jac said...

ohhh i used to so love being scared to death! my brother enjoyed obliging me too! LOL
i'm here from michele's tonight and i see that we are almost neighbors! i'm in madison!

 
At 7:54 AM , Anonymous jude said...

my wife's heart beat races and sits on the edge of the couch after watching just the previews. I could not imagine the whole movie!!

 
At 2:14 PM , Blogger KaraMia said...

I thought the same thing when i saw the trailor..lol. Can't wait to see it now that i'm beyond the babysitting age. here via michele today

 
At 2:16 PM , Anonymous Im Chele In [dot] LA said...

..oh lord I hated to babysit when I was young.....
maybe this was the reason..
ahahah
Over this time from the other Michele's.

 
At 2:23 PM , Anonymous mar said...

It took me forever to get here. Blame it on blogger...I saw too many scary movies when I was young, I don't like them now! Michele sent me.

 
At 2:24 PM , Blogger WendyWings said...

Karen if you go back to my blog you now have a link in my post to your blog ( every little link helps right lol)
I amended todays post and added your link and answered your questions.
You may need to go through my blog and check out a few more entries from say October.
I work/worked with a LOT of reality people. :)
You name them I probably know them LOL

 
At 9:47 PM , Anonymous Kat said...

Marisa beat me to it! I thought the first part of the first movie was unbearably scary, but the bulk of the movie didn't impress me that much. The one, however, looks thoroughly frightening! Maybe I'll see it tomorrow (I think I'm old enough).

 
At 3:54 PM , Blogger Carmi said...

I've always hated slaser-type flicks for instilling the kind of irrational fear that keeps parents and teens alike awake at night.

I guess movies about real threats, like falling in the bathroom, wouldn't be as exciting or as sexy.

I'll wait for the DVD.

 
At 10:27 AM , Blogger ribbiticus said...

i'll look for the dvd tomorrow! :)

michele says hi. :)

 

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