Horror movies work hard to isolate their characters while tormenting them with hungry zombies, boogeymen and ghostly teenagers. But so many of our favourite scary stories would be much shorter, and far less frightening, since the invention of smartphones.
Sorry to spoil Halloween, but here are our horror favourites and the apps that would have saved the day.
Nightmare on Elm Street
"Siri, set an alarm for 2am, 2:01am, 2:02am, 2:03am … "
Freddy Krueger, terrifying king of the nightmare realm, operates on the assumption that once you're asleep, you can't wake up. In the film, Nancy tries setting a bedside alarm to save herself, but it proves useless.
What she really needed was a trusty voice assistant like Siri to sound an alarm again and again and again until she woke up. Sure, she still needs to fight off Freddy, booby trap her house and learn about the power of mindfulness meditation to stay calm in the face of fear, but it would be a good start.
The Blair Witch Project
"OK Google, navigate to home"
When Heather, Mike and Josh head to the woods to hunt down the legend of the Blair Witch they soon become disorientated. The compass they are using stops working properly and the find themselves walking in circles.
The Blair Witch might have influence over the magnetic fields that compasses use for direction, but we're going to guess that GLONASS satellites are probably out of her command. A quick chat to Google Assistant and our heroes would have been at Waffle House before the sun went down.
"Incoming call from Creepy Ghost Girl"
Victims of the super-creepy Samara from the Ring movies follow a strictly defined downward spiral after watching the famous Ring VHS tape. And, it all begins with a phone call.
The thing is, if you knew who was calling before you answered, would you take a call from her? Newer smartphones now run a reverse lookup on unknown numbers that would help dodge her call the way you screen calls from pesky telemarketers.
"Yes, that's right. We'd like to order a bigger boat"
Jaws is a classic example of where things go from bad to worse, with a key scene being where Quint smashes the radio when Brody tries to call the coast guard for help. Nice one, Ahab.
Of course, if Brody had a smartphone in his pocket he could have just called the coast guard to report the danger. Or just jump on Craigslist to buy a bigger boat.
"Dude, the killer is in the house. Like, right behind you"
This Hitchcock classic is a product of its time, and one of the most clear cut examples of a film that just wouldn't exist in the 21st century.
After breaking his leg, photographer Jeff is confined to a wheelchair and thinks he witnesses a murder in the building opposite. He sends his girlfriend Lisa over to investigate, and then watches helplessly as the killer comes home.
Jeff tries his best to warn Lisa by yelling out and waving his arms about. Of course, the warning would have been so much easier to communicate with a call or a text message.
Where smartphones are useless - Wolf Creek
There are so many horror movies where you imagine that a quick call to the police would put a quick stop to proceedings. But anyone familiar with Australia's geography will know that Wolf Creek is not one of those movies.
Even on the most robust networks, the Australian outback is so vast that the likelihood of getting a signal is pretty much zero. Even GPS would be useless, unless you need Google to tell you that there is no help for miles and miles.