How many people still remember this movie? Back in 1995, Sandra Bullock played the part of Angela Bennett, a systems analyst that worked entirely from home, something that wasn’t quite as possible as it is today, and was one of the best at what she did. Upon being asked to look at something that appears a bit suspicious Angela concurs that it’s worth meeting up over, but the man she was supposed to meet with died in a plane crash en-route. Having planned a vacation for the first time in a long time, Angela flies to Cancun, unaware of the accident. Essentially the whole movie boils down to a plot by cyber terrorists that are working for a man who offers his program known as Gatekeeper to those in need, albeit with a trick that allows his company a backdoor into the ‘protected’ system that allows unlimited access anytime they want it. In other words, this company is running a scam as they promise protection and in doing so are able to access their clients’ information any time they want. If people thought this was terrifying back in the 90s it’s likely even worse now.
There are plenty of directors out there that aren’t squeamish when it comes to scaring people in one way or another, and it’s fair to say that The Net would be a reboot that might get a lot of people to start thinking, once again, of how much they can trust people on the other end of the line. Technology has come a long way since the 90s but at the same time, it feels likely that those out there without morals or the kind of decency that one might be able to teach to a 5-year-old would gladly take notes while watching a movie such as this. The mere thought that someone could hack into your system or, even worse, simply slip in through a back door that was opened is kind of creepy, especially since if a person does this without thinking then there’s no telling what else they’ll do.
The idea that information is power is a strong and still very applicable statement that is brought to bear in this movie and the idea that people don’t know each other well enough to recognize a neighbor is disturbing since in Angela’s case she was such a shut-in that her own neighbors didn’t recognize her. There are a lot of trust issues that are touched upon in this movie and it’s fair to think that Angela did bring a lot of that on herself. This isn’t to say that she deserved anything that happened to her, but a life spent shut away from the world isn’t exactly a life, it’s an existence peeking at the world from a shuttered window that doesn’t afford the world much of a chance to get to know the individual. It does become a perfect way for those that prowl online to get to know a person in a very different way, that being the data and preferences that are loaded onto the internet for anyone with access to see.
In short, Angela’s life was ripped apart in this movie by those that knew how to access and manipulate the system to their needs, and it became a very dangerous game of cat and mouse that Angela only ended up winning by dint of being craftier than the people who were after her. Overconfidence does tend to blind people to the dangers that are right in front of them, as the movie kind of proves. To remake or reboot this movie now would definitely be interesting since the updates would be able to take this movie to a much different level than was possible back in the 90s since with everything we have now there’s no way that it could be as low-key as it was back then. To be fair, back when it first came out a lot of people didn’t give this movie the time of day likely because it might have felt a little far-fetched. How could anyone use a computer to ruin another person’s life, right? How many of those people feel a little silly now do you think?
It was a bit more difficult back in those days since the idea of the internet was still something that a lot of people were getting used to and the reality that anyone’s life could be erased with a couple of keystrokes was something that felt like a fantasy. But now, all it takes is someone that knows what they’re doing and another person’s life could be ruined. That’s why The Net might actually be one of the better ideas for a reboot since the number of upgrades that could be employed would only make it that much better.