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When a Stranger Calls (DVD, 2006) Reviews
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When a Stranger Calls (DVD, 2006)

79 ratings (32 Epinions reviews)
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A Call To Kill

Feb 16, 2009 (Updated Mar 20, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:A few suspenseful moments, intense and dark settings

Cons:Taking too long to get to actions (I almost fall asleep), predictable storyline, bad ending

The Bottom Line: Compared to Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, or even Valentine, this movie totally take the back seat.


When a Stranger Calls is a classic horror movie based on an urban legend. Stranger, back in 1979, was the original version of this babysitter legend. Then, I saw the same scene in Scream 2 with Sarah Michelle Gellar as the victim, then again it was in Scary Movie with Carmen Electra and this time it was hilarious. Anyway, all I am trying to say is that, if you have never heard of this particular legend, you’ll probably enjoy this movie or else it would be predictable and no fun at all.

The making of this movie is probably effortless with the setting mainly focused in the Mandrakis' lavish house. High school student Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle), who was grounded with no phone and no car by her parents, has to take the task of babysitting in a beautiful hilltop house at a remote area. Being alone in such a huge house somehow makes her feel uncomfortable, especially when she is not sure if she is alone or if someone else is in the house. All she knew is that the kids and the housekeeper are in the house with her but no one else.

You will get a tour around the house as Jill started wandering around, checking out the master bedroom, the jewelry, the clothes, etc. Finally, the phone rings. Not once, not twice, but there are so many calls that I lost track of how many calls that actually came in. Some are calls from people she knows about but there are these mysterious calls with heavy breathing that freaks her out. Similar to the babysitter legend, Jill calls the police so that they could check where the calls came from.

For those of you who have never heard of the babysitter legend or watch Stranger before, there will be a few suspenseful moments. With each calls, you will probably be expecting a psycho killer to show up and starts chasing Jill around the house. But, I have to say, this movie sure takes a long time getting there. If you have the patience, I can say the last ten minutes of the movie is quite exciting when the actions finally set in.

When the psychopath serial killer finally shows up, you can't exactly see his face, which makes you wonder more who this killer is. My initial thoughts were probably her boyfriend, Bobby or Dr. Mandrakis' son, Todd, who is staying at the guest house. I hate not knowing who the killer is or the connections between the killer and its victim but a serial killer does not really need to have all that. All that he does is to kill and kill until he is finally caught.

The storyline is quite predictable. It is worth watching if you are curious about the whole babysitter legend. But I have to say, it is not that scary, really.

Anyway, you can check out the legend from this URL:
http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/babysit.htm


Recommend this product? Yes

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A slick remake of the 1979 original, Simon West's WHEN A STRANGER CALLS is a contemporary update of a well-known suburban legend. When 16-year-old Jil...
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