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5 sci-fi & horror movies that would’ve been a whole lot shorter with good internet or cell phone service

Some high speed Xfinity internet could've surely shaken up these sci-fi and horror flicks.

By Benjamin Bullard
The Black Phone (2021)

Ah, the internet — the thing that ties the world together, even when you’re out in the boonies with nothing but a smart phone at hand. If you’re young enough, life with info and entertainment on demand is probably the only life you’ve ever known — and for everyone else, the days before the world went fully networked likely feel like a lifetime ago. 
Connectivity’s always evolving, though, and for Xfinity customers, that means the imminent rollout of Xfinity 10G — a revolutionary step aimed at transforming the way people stream, work, and play. The new Xfinity 10G Network sounds like a film lover’s dream, boasting the fastest internet both inside and outside the home while letting users seamlessly stream their favorite movies —all with ultra-low lag and crystal-clear image quality whether inside the house or across millions of wifi hotspot locations. 

RELATED: The 6 best horror films to stream on SYFY right now
More movies across multiple devices — and even during the busiest peak hours? We’re definitely here for that. But for every new leap in reliability and speed we lucky 21st Century web-heads enjoy, it kinda makes us pause and wonder: How would always-on connectivity have changed the way some of our favorite movies turned out?
If Ann Darrow (Faye Wray) could’ve clutched a smart phone on her captive trip to the top of the Empire State Building in the original King Kong, all those ape-crazed 1930s biplanes might’ve held their fire long enough for Kong to at least look sympathetic to the rest of the world as the phone cam captured his simian pathos on a live stream viewed by millions. Then again, having the rest of humanity eavesdropping on their the duo’s isolated sky-climb might’ve totally wrecked the poignantly poetic vibe of King Kong’s big finale.
Either way, having warp-speed internet in the palm of her hand would’ve given Ann a big tech advantage, and it’s not nearly the only time our trip to the movies would’ve turned out differently if the people on the screen had the advantage of stable, high-speed tech. Off the top of our heads, here are five more films that could’ve swerved in totally different directions if their characters could only have accessed the go-anywhere power of mobile high-speed internet. 

The Black Phone

Talking to the Grabber’s ghostly victims on an old-school land line might’ve been super-informative for The Black Phone’s Finney Blake (Mason Thames) while he looked for a way to escape from Ethan Hawke’s demented killer. But you know what would’ve really helped Finney? Being able to whip out a smart phone and call, text, or even email someone — like, anyone at all — who could marshal the authorities to come get him out of his jam. But hey, analog tech at least has its perks: That old-fashioned phone cord came in handy when Finney needed a way to finally strangle the creep before the Grabber’s body count could pile even higher.

Friday the 13th

Man, Jason’s mom got away with so much murder that could’ve mostly been avoided if the rest of the world had only known what was really up at Camp Crystal Lake. Instead, a homicidal Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) had a forest full of hapless campers all to her leisurely and sadistic lonesome. Trapped with no wifi, no cell service, no anything at all to signal the camping wasn’t happy out on Jason’s family compound, Kevin Bacon and the rest of the Friday the 13th cast were left with nothing but their wits to stay alive…and, as the movie proved, wits without cell service often aren’t nearly enough.

The Thing

When you’re faced with an extraterrestrial horror out in the middle of Antarctic frozen nowhere, a call for help that actually connects — or even a Snap that throws an image of what’s happening at your location — would be super-duper chill. No such luck befell R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) and the rest of the researchers stranded in The Thing’s icy killing fields, where director John Carpenter could take his time allowing the movie’s terrifying alien mimic to drive the survivors into a paranoid, freaked-out panic. Present-day tech probably comes with its own drawbacks, though: If R.J. had managed to tweet out a mind-blowing clip of the Thing assimilating into a human, would today’s haters find a way to accuse him of simply sharing a deepfake?

Mr. Harrigan's Phone

Talk about too much cell phone service — as in, the supernatural, beyond-the-grave kind. In Mr. Harrigan's Phone, Netflix’s Stephen King horror adaptation, stars Jaeden Martel (as young student Craig) and Donald Sutherland (the elderly Mr. Harrigan) stay in touch via iPhone — even after Mr. Harrigan dies and his phone account is canceled. That inexplicable link allows Mr. Harrigan to become Craig’s guardian angel of death via voice mail and text message, as the dead-and-buried fella takes cues from Craig to mysteriously arrange the “accidental” demise of anyone who gets in Craig’s way. It’s a classic case of too much of a good thing: No one had to die if only Craig had set Mr. Harrigan up with a dependable, here-and-now data plan…one that isn’t bundled with any hidden links to the other side. 

Jurassic Park

Has any place in the movies ever needed a solidly reliable network like the 1993 version of Isla Nublar? With island-saturating data and cell service, Jurassic Park’s John Hammond (the late Richard Attenborough) could’ve kept tabs on his grandkids even after their Jeeps went off the rails, and Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) couldn’t have counted on such a wide window of opportunity to sabotage the security and sneak dino DNA off the premises in a shaving cream can. Come to think of it, even Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) could’ve become internet famous way earlier in his chaos-theory career: Imagine the YouTube views he’d have by now if his famous helicopter laugh had gone live on the internet right when it happened…instead of years after the fact. 
At the end of the day, movies can unleash all the tech-deprived terrors they want — so long, that is, that we can watch it unfold from the convenience of a reliable, fast, and go-anywhere network that doesn’t care what kind of device we happen to be streaming from. Check out every impressive technical leap that comes with the new Xfinity 10G Network here, and get ready to elevate your streaming expectations: It’s the next generation 10G network — only from Xfinity.

This is a promotional post in support of Xfinity 10G.