This is one of my favorite films from childhood. My dad received it as a Christmas gift from my aunt one year, and that evening we popped it in our VHS player and watched it. I loved it so much that I would want to watch it all the time.
And it still remains a favorite and one I can watch no matter what no matter when.
Ursula Stanhope hails from San Francisco, CA and is traveling throughout Africa. Her fiancé, Lyle Van De Groot (Thomas Haden Church) is a total pompous jerk and has gone looking for her to drag her back to be immediately married. He is guided by two poachers who are looking for their big score.
All of them
The next day when Ursula and Lyle are out, they run into a lion. Lyle takes off; tripping, falling, and knocking himself out. But Ursula doesn’t need to worry, George (Brendan Fraser); a man who was lost in Africa and raised by an ape named Ape, saves her.
He cares for her until they are found by her fiancé and her party. When Lyle and the poachers attack trying to “save” Ursula and capture the famed “White Ape”; George gets injured and finds himself traveling to San Francisco with Ursula. Is San Fran ready for this Ape-Man? Will his home be okay without the King of the Jungle?
Most Romantic Moment: Be Comfortable and Dance With Me
This moment comes in the middle of the film after George and Ursula have been searching for her group with no luck. They are hanging out with a bonfire, getting to know each other better, when the apes start playing music. George invites Ursula to dance with him, but she is afraid to do it that she might look dumb.
George tells her not to worry, and helps her feel comfortable with herself.
George: Sometime George smash into tree. And sometime…[George screams and falls out of treehouse] Sometime George fall out of treehouse. But not feel stupid.
George: No people here to look stupid for. Just George.
I know this might not seem like a lot, but you have to look at Ursula’s parents. She comes from a super wealthy family and a mother that is obsessed with appearances. She’s been told what to do her whole life, look at how her mom choose her fiancé, and probably has never let go or had anyone try and get her to just relax and have fun. Especially with her super critical mother.
George doesn’t know any of this, but he still tries to help Ursula feel comfortable and just have fun.
We traced the call! It’s coming from inside the house! Do you hear me? It’s coming from inside the house! You need to get out!
So I love this movie so much! It came out during the period of remakes of 1970s horror films, you had Dracula 2000, The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), The Wicker Man (2006), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Carrie (2002), The Omen (2006), The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Dawn of the Dead (2004), Halloween (2007), and Invasion (2007).
I thought it was a great remake, although I’ve never seen the original. And as the trailer revels the climatic ending I don’t feel bad about doing so either.
So the film starts off a police cleanup as a baby-sitter and the kids she had been watching were ripped to shreds.
Then we cut to out protagonist Jill who is practicing track. She is suffering from a supremo of bad days. Her times are all off and she needs to improve her speed. Part of the reason she is sucking so much is that she is distracted by her broken heart.
It turns out that her boyfriend and best friend hooked up! What jerks!
And she is grounded because she went over the mins on her phone. Remember, back in the day when every cellphone plan had min limits, and everyone was going over them all the time?
She really wants to go to the bonfire party, but the only place she is allowed to go is to babysit.
Yep, the money from the job is supposed to be enough to cover the cost of the phone bill. They must be paying her an awful lot of money.
To further her punishment, she can’t have her own car but has to be dropped off by her dad and then dropped off by the couple when they return from their night. Now this is a pretty sweet baby-sitting job. It is for a rich family, who lets you eat anything in the house, watch things on their massive TV, getting paid lots of money, and you don’t even have to look after the kiddos as they’re sick.
Only one problem, she is in the freakin’ middle of nowhere. But it is a beautiful house!
It has a so many glass windows and such, it also has an inside garden/aviary thing.
Now my home has a whole wall of windows, so when I first watched this with my friends we were all freaked out during the…well I’ll save that for later.
So Jill doesn’t have much to do as the kids are sick and knocked out upstairs. The maid is there, but will be leaving shortly after she finishes her rounds. The couple have an older son who attends college and he may or may not be coming back to visit, but if he does he’ll crash in the guest house in their backyard.
Seems easy enough
So Jill gets ready for a night o’ fun. She eats popsicles and tries on jewelry and clothes.
Everything is fun and games until Jill begins to receive anonymous and annoying phone calls.
Voice of the Stranger: Have you checked the children?
Jill Johnson: What
[Stranger hangs up. Jill runs and checks on the children. Comes back downstairs]
Jill Johnson: [phone rings] Hello?
Voice of the Stranger: [pauses] How were the children?
At this point in the film if you look hard enough you can actually see him watching her through the window while she is walking around and talking to her on the phone.
In between she gets some creepy calls from her ex’s friends. She gets even more calls, but then one turns out to be her ex-friend Tiffany. Tiff the big, bad, boyfriend stealer.
Tiff comes and tries to fix things between them, with Jill feeling lukewarm about the whole thing. She kicks Tiff out, who tries to leave but can’t as a tree blocks her path. A tree that wasn’t there earlier. That means only one thing, bye-bye Tiff.
The calls continue getting even creepier.
Jill Johnson: Tiffany, I know it’s you. I can see your name on Caller ID, genius.
Voice of the Stranger: This isn’t Tiffany.
Jill Johnson: Who is this?
Voice of the Stranger: [pause] Who is this?
Jill Johnson: Cody?
Voice of the Stranger: Who’s Cody?
Jill Johnson: You better cut this out!
[stranger hangs up]
Now for the most part Jill is pretty smart girl. She calls the police and tries to get them to trace the call and get rid of her stalker. She keeps the security system on at all times. When she sees a light go on in the guest house, she thinks it might be the son and tries to get him to come back with her to help.
She turns the security system off and runs down to the guest house to get the son. When she gets in there, she discovers that there is no one there.
Jill concludes that it must have been the maid, going over here to clean and then left after she completed the job. She runs back to the house, causing the security system to go off. She gets a call from the company, but tells them that it is only her. She must have only thought she turned the system off.
She continues to get more calls from “the Stranger”, telling her that he can see her.
Jill Johnson: He can see me!
Officer Burroughs: Sorry?
Jill Johnson: It’s Jill, the girl who called before about the man who keeps on calling.
Officer Burroughs: What’s going on?
Jill Johnson: He called me again.
Officer Burroughs: What did he say?
Jill Johnson: He’s out there, he’s outside, he’s watching me through the windows.
Officer Burroughs: Did you see him?
Jill Johnson: No, but I know he can see me, because I went upstairs…
Officer Burroughs: Okay, take a deep breath, where’s the house keeper?
Jill Johnson: I don’t know, I saw her purse and the keys but I can’t find her.
Officer Burroughs: The house locked up?
Jill Johnson: Yes.
Officer Burroughs: Alarm system?
Jill Johnson: It’s on.
Officer Burroughs: Okay, you’re safe inside that house. If he wanted to break in, he wouldn’t be calling.
Jill Johnson: But he must want something!
Officer Burroughs: Listen to me, Miss, it’s just some a****** trying to hassle you.
So when my friends and I were watching this film, we were in the living room which has a whole wall made entirely out of windows, similar to the house in the film. There is also a window behind the TV. As we were watching this part, something hit our window.
Our cat had jumped up on the fence outside and hit the window with her tail. We were just so into the film that we were creeped out.
So back to the film. So Jill keeps trying to talk to “the Stranger” so the police can trace the calls. It is so creepy, it was like when that crazy girl kept calling/texting me last spring.
Jill Johnson: [On phone] You really scared me, if that’s what you wanted. Is that what you wanted?