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YMMV / Phone Booth

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  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: The phone booth can be seen a confession booth and the sniper as either a priest or God, to whom Stu is confessing his sins. In the end, he's absolved.
    Sniper: That would explain it. Bible-crazed killer targets fashion-obsessed publicist.
  • Evil Is Cool: That voice!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The sniper, voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, threatens Stu over the phone. In 24, he would be the one being threatened. In the finale, though, he threatens a character over the phone, while aiming a sniper rifle at him the whole time, no less.
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    • Kiefer Sutherland, known for playing vampire badboy David in The Lost Boys threatens Colin Farrell, who would go on to play vampire badboy Jerry Dandridge in the Fright Night (2011) remake.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Stu is a complete dick but it's revealed it's largely a cover for his own insecurities and the sheer horror of the ordeal he's put through can't help but make him sympathetic.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The unnamed caller is a vigilante sniper who targets Asshole Victims, tormenting them to force them to become honest lest he kill them. Targeting Stuart "Stu" Shepard for cheating on his wife, the caller makes him play a series of psychological games to break him into becoming honest. Killing a pimp who tries to get Stu out of the phone booth, the caller is forcing him to stay inside and leaves a handgun atop its roof, leading to Stu being incriminated for the murder. Forcing Stu to confess to his wife when she arrives on the scene, the caller kills a Pizza Delivery guy to frame him for his crimes, leaving while promising Stu he will return if he goes back to his callous ways.
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  • Paranoia Fuel: People have been a lot more cautious about answering phones since this film came out.
  • Realism-Induced Horror: There's nothing supernatural or even especially outlandish about the set up. It's just a story about a guy who made the mistake of answering the wrong phone call.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The film was released just as the last phonebooths in New York City were beginning to be removed. Even five years later, the plot would have been impossible. The rapidly-vanishing phonebooths are lampshaded in the opening narration, so it's arguable how 'unintentional' the piece is.
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  • What an Idiot!: It's fairly reasonable for those hookers to assume that Stu shot their pimp, but it's far less reasonable for them to stand around screaming at someone who they're convinced has a gun and just used it to murder someone right in front of them.


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