Tuesday, February 07, 2006

When number 2 is number 1

The number one movie over the weekend was the remake of "When a Stranger Calls," which I'm assuming is the result of some large-scale triple-dog dare.

To be fair, I didn't see it yet. I didn't think I needed to, seeing as how the ads reveal what traditionally is the biggest plot twist in that familiar story.

For criminy's sake, "Scream" did a riff on the babysitter urban legend before the opening credits. Are there really people who don't know what's going to happen?

I always figure that if you're going to take a familiar story, you dress it up with things that people haven't seen, maybe change it up a little.

Wouldn't it have been neat if the killer was that "Can you hear me now?" guy from Verizon? At least then the audience would be rooting for someone to dispatch him in an interesting way.

While I will entertain the notion that it's not a bad movie, I've read some of the reviews, and they're not pretty. Over at rottentomatoes.com, it's hovering at 13%, which isn't much better than the 7% garnered by "Big Momma's House 2."

When this drops on DVD, I think I'll check it out to see if it's just as bad as everyone says.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's a direct-to-video sequel to this thing in which another urban legend that really shouldn't be an entire movie by itself is stretched out to feature length. And if we're real unlucky, we'll be getting a whole series of direct-to-video crapfests thrillers:

Don't Go Near the Microwave

Jill has sworn off babysitting for good; from now on, she's strictly a dog watcher. The Derf family entrusts their expensive purebred poodle into Jill's care. The dog is a maniac; it runs all over the place. She rescues Fido from the koi pond, and while she kept the dog from drowning, she needs to dry him before the family gets home, which will be at any minute. Suddenly, the microwave catches her eye, and she gets an idea. All hell breaks loose.

If You Can't Join 'Em, Lick 'Em

After the Fido fiasco, Jill has been getting death threats from the Derfs. To make her feel more secure at night, she gets a guard dog, Duke, to protect her. Whenever she hears a noise or gets scared at night, she just dangles her arm over the side of her bed, and Duke lets her know he's on the job by licking her hand.

One night she hears a lot of strange noises. Luckily, she's got Duke. After he licks her hand, she's able to sleep the rest of the night. When she wakes up, she finds her dog dead in the bathroom, and there's something written in blood on the mirror: People can lick, too. All hell breaks loose.

Pop Goes the Evil

Jill is on the run from the crazed members of the Derf family, who are still mad at what she did to Fido. To evade them, she holes up in a small convenience store in the middle of nowhere.

She gets the munchies, so she grabs a soda and looks for some candy. She finds some Pop Rocks, which, the clerk informs her, are dangerous. She's heard this one before. She rips open the packet and pours the Pop Rocks in her mouth. When she cracks open her soda and takes a swig, a vengeful demon that had been trapped in the candy is released and takes possession of Jill's body.

All hell breaks loose.

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