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When a Stranger Calls
Release Date: February 3rd, 2006 (limited)
Length: 1 Hr. 39 Min.
Rated: PG-13 for intense terror, violence and some language
Starring: Camilla Belle, Tommy J. Flanagan, Tessa Thompson, Brian Geraghty, Clark Gregg

Directed by: Simon West
Produced by: Paddy Cullen, Kenneth Lemberger, John Davis
Written by: Jake Wall (II), Steve Feke, Fred Walton

Official Website


Reviewed by Scott Jeffries
Reviewer Rating:


In the year 1979, a movie by the name WHEN A STRANGER CALLS was made. It was not a master piece. There were bits and pieces in the film which could make you look at your watch, the guy sitting next to you, wishing you had got the extra popcorn - or all of the above. But there were portions in the film - like the beginning and the end, which could make you jump out of your own skin.

The basic plot was that of a young girl who is babysitting. Sometime into the night, she starts getting calls from a weird guy she does not know. Gradually, these calls become more and more threatening and she starts to panic. She later comes to know that the calls are being made from inside the house itself. Imagine to her utter shock when she finds all the kids she was supposed to be looking after brutally murdered.

The movie then turns into a chase after the unfeeling killer which culminates to a gruesome end after 15 years, when he tries to kill the babysitter.

Cut to year 2006 when Simon West sits up one day and says “hey! I know what….let’s take the beginning of the film and make THAT into a film! Isn’t that a great idea?”
Well, Simon, we don’t know if that’s a great idea, but we sure know that you screwed up somewhat.

In this new and improved version, we see Jill (Camilla Belle) in a wonderful country estate watching over some kids with the house keeper at home. Isn’t that a necessity? Well, if you are rich enough to have a housekeeper AND a babysitter, why not?

So, as seen before, she starts getting calls from a guy and later is informed that they are coming from inside the house. The house is one big monster in itself; with dark corners and empty rooms by the dozen. Then we see a cat and mouse game where the cat is not as quick as other serial killer cats.

As if this was not enough, we have a section in which Jill’s best friend comes over to fight about a guy whom they both want - she’s an irritating airhead and you are happy when she is murdered by this psycho.

Let’s directly go to the bad points as there is little good about the film - but wait, the whole movie is bad! The screen play totally sucks as there are loopholes you could fall into. The direction is not far behind; making you wish you could fall into a hole - just to escape this film. The acting is so juvenile and emotionless - it makes you want to catch the actors and shake them hard. There are so many clichés - like cats jumping out of closets, sudden starts, a lonely girl in a dark room- good lord, why?!

All in all, please be warned before you watch this movie because it may turn you into a killer yourself - a more capable one and you will make it your mission to track down everyone involved in this film and kill them, the MO being a telephone cord.

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