When a Stranger Calls (2006)



Critic Consensus: What's fitting punishment for running up the phone bill? Why have that person baby sit; that'll teach them. Or better yet, make that person through this poorly acted, fright-free remake of the 1979 movie of the same name. Camilla Belle is a looker, but she got nothing on Carol Kane, the actress who originally played the part, when it comes to range. The final straw is that the payoff isn't worth the tedium that comes before. Just hang up on this one.

Movie Info

While babysitting, a high school student is terrorized by a stranger who calls her, asking "have you checked the children lately?" The police eventually notify her, the calls are coming from inside the house.

Rating: PG-13 (for intense terror, violence and some language.)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Jake Wade Wall
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 13, 2006
Box Office: $47.9M
Screen Gems - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for When a Stranger Calls

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (17)

If you've seen either Black Christmas or Halloween, there's nothing new here: the hyped-up score keeps telling us we ought to be scared, but the suspense feels mechanical and fake.

Full Review… | May 13, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The film is not quite suspense-free, but almost. When finding a dead body underwater isn't scary, something is very wrong.

May 13, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The original should have been a short film; the new version shouldn't exist at all.

Full Review… | May 13, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

This version is a thin, protracted study in shifting Hollywood strategies.

Full Review… | May 13, 2006
Village Voice
Top Critic

A production that never comes close to realizing its potential to tweak the viewer's primal fears.

Full Review… | May 13, 2006
Top Critic

If there's a single dead-wrong instinct in this movie that isn't pursued with the blind determination of an amorous terrier during high-scent season, darned if I can remember it.

Full Review… | May 13, 2006
Toronto Star
Top Critic

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