Opening

18% Transcendence Apr 18
11% A Haunted House 2 Apr 18
52% Heaven Is for Real Apr 16
88% Bears Apr 18
57% Fading Gigolo Apr 18

Top Box Office

89% Captain America: The Winter Soldier $41.3M
48% Rio 2 $39.3M
70% Oculus $12.0M
62% Draft Day $9.8M
77% Noah $7.6M
40% Divergent $7.4M
13% God's Not Dead $5.5M
92% The Grand Budapest Hotel $4.1M
79% Muppets Most Wanted $2.3M
78% Mr. Peabody & Sherman $1.9M

Coming Soon

44% The Other Woman Apr 25
—— Brick Mansions Apr 25
70% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 May 02
100% Neighbors May 09
—— Godzilla May 16

New Episodes Tonight

—— Continuum: Season 3
100% Hannibal: Season 2
—— Hart of Dixie: Season 3
—— Last Man Standing: Season 3
—— Unforgettable: Season 2

Discuss Last Night's Shows

—— Anger Management: Season 2
92% Community: Season 5
55% The Crazy Ones: Season 1
100% Grey's Anatomy: Season 10
90% Parenthood: Season 5
100% Parks and Recreation: Season 6
100% Portlandia: Season 4
55% Reign: Season 1
0% Saint George: Season 1
100% Scandal: Season 3
73% Sirens: Season 1
68% Surviving Jack: Season 1
92% Vikings: Season 2

Certified Fresh TV

77% About a Boy: Season 1
97% The Americans: Season 2
82% The Blacklist: Season 1
88% Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1
85% Enlisted: Season 1
98% Fargo: Season 1
98% Game of Thrones: Season 4
100% Hannibal: Season 2
96% Silicon Valley: Season 1

When a Stranger Calls (2006)

tomatometer

9

Average Rating: 3.2/10
Reviews Counted: 90
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 82

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.

6

Average Rating: 3/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 15

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.

audience

44

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 476,764

My Rating

Movie Info

A teenage girl becomes a demented serial killer's prey in this big-budget remake of the 1979 thriller that became a TV late-show favorite. When a Stranger Calls takes its title and basic premise from the original, which -- for its first 15 minutes or so -- featured Carol Kane as a frazzled babysitter plagued by creepy, invasive phone calls. This time around, the doe-eyed Camilla Belle plays Jill Johnson, a high-schooler dealing with the usual set of crises: an unfaithful boyfriend, a bitchy best

PG-13,

Mystery & Suspense, Horror

Jake Wade Wall

May 16, 2006

$47.9M

Screen Gems - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

ADVERTISEMENT

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (82) | DVD (15)

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.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 18, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 11, 2006 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop 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.

February 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stranger is one long tease that, instead of building tension around Jill's efforts to outwit her mysterious stalker, has her run around the house, unsuccessfully calling every friend, cop and family member she knows.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Amateurish direction by Simon West ("Laura Croft: Tomb Raider") contributes to the utter failure of this pathetic update of the original film of the same title.

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

No plot, no originality, no stars -- and no reason for you to go and see this crap.

May 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

...just as needless a remake as one might've expected.

May 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

You know a horror movie's in trouble when the fake scares outweigh the real ones.

May 16, 2006 Full Review Source: BBC

I can't help feeling that this updating could have been a little more imaginative -- the only wrinkle on the basic plot is that it uses mobile phones.

May 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Independent | Comment (1)
Independent

While teen chillers tend to be exercises in extreme dullness, at least director Simon West tries to wring some suspense out of the scenes here.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

Atmospheric but generally disappointing thriller, despite a passably tense climax and an eye-catching performance by newcomer Camilla Belle.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Having abstained from character development and stalling for something to do between calls, the movie dwells in the house's dark corners, plugging plot holes with overzealous sound design.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Loud, noisy, flashy but too rarely chilling.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

This year's "I Know What You Did Last Summer"...You'll be totally immersed and near on the verge of drawing sweat

April 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Brag Magazine | Comments (2)
Brag Magazine

god damn why in the world would they only remake the first 20 minutes?

April 11, 2006 Full Review Source: sbs.is

Não percebe que a premissa é insuficiente para sustentar 90 minutos de duração e, conseqüentemente, o resultado deixa muito a desejar com relação ao original.

April 2, 2006
Cinema em Cena

...it did half the trick for me and for that...it receives half the marks.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

I'll be damned if I can find anything to like

March 16, 2006 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

This remake of a 1979 thriller starring Carol Kane isn't particularly mysterious ... Unexpectedly, given his background in exploitation dramas, director Simon West doesn't push the horror to the max.

March 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Long distance information? Get me Hollywood, USA: I've got a rusty ice pick to bury in the gullet of whoever greenlighted this pointless exercise.

March 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

When a Stranger Calls understands that when alone and isolated in an unfamiliar place, an overactive imagination can be as frightening as any real threats.

February 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

The only reason to watch this punishingly dull remake is to ogle raven-haired beauty Camilla Belle.

February 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Georgia Straight

Audience Reviews for When a Stranger Calls

No plot, no scares. You might as well just fast-forward to the last ten minutes; everything before is utterly pointless. Not saying that the ending is anything special. None of the tension in this film is real. It's just fake scare after fake scare, and it gets old real fast.
August 15, 2012
Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

When a Stranger Calls is one of the worst remakes that I have seen. The film has some very bad acting, a bad story and bad directing. As a horror film, When a Stranger Calls fails to deliver effective jolts. The scares are cheap and expected. I thought that this film was awful and I felt like it was a waste of time. This film is pure crap, and as far as remakes are concerned, them being dull and inspired compared to the first, well this one fits the description perfectly. I love horror films, horror films are my passion, my addiction and I was very disappointed in this film. I thought it was purely a waste of time, and celluloid. Remakes are much hit and miss, and this remake misses the mark entirely. The cast and story awful, and you just know how this film will end. The element of surprise, which makes horror films worth seeing, is absent, and thus, this film is very predictable and awful. This film scraps the bottom of the barrel and it's not fun, scary or entertaining. This is yet another unfortunate remake of a classic film that never should have been made in the first place. Hollywood is running out of ideas, and trash like this shows that they're willing to green light anything to make a quick buck. Some remakes are good, effective at delivering scares. However this one fails to deliver, and belongs along with the rest of the horrible sequels in the dollar bin at Wal-Mart. A terrible film, which you're not missing out on. Avoid.
September 20, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Creepy! Had me on the edge of my seat and I was genuinely frightened.
June 23, 2011
murphmann93
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

    1. Jill Johnson: What do you want me for? Why are you doing this?
    2. Voice of the Stranger: I want your blood all over me.
    – Submitted by Adam P (9 months ago)
    1. Jill Johnson: Stop calling me you sick...
    2. Officer Burroughs: Jill, we've traced the call it's coming from inside the house! Get out of the house, get out of the house!
    – Submitted by Adam P (9 months ago)
    1. Detective Hines: Keep him on the phone for at least 60 seconds and we'll be able to trace where he is. And when we do it'll take us 20 minutes to get down there. You think you can manage?
    2. Jill Johnson: Yeah. I guess.... But he never stays on the phone longer than a few seconds.
    3. Detective Hines: You have to try.
    – Submitted by Adam P (9 months ago)
    1. Voice of the Stranger: How are the children?
    – Submitted by Adam P (9 months ago)
    1. Jill Johnson: I know it's you tiffany, I can see the name address.
    2. Voice of the Stranger: I'm not Tiffany.
    – Submitted by Adam P (9 months ago)
    1. Jill Johnson: Stop calling me you sick...
    2. Officer Burroughs: Jill, we've traced the call it's coming from inside the house!
    – Submitted by Rawballs B (20 months ago)
View all quotes (6)

Discussion Forum

Discuss When a Stranger Calls on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

Transcendence is a Sci-Fi Snooze

Total Recall
Total Recall

Johnny Depp's Best Movies

24 Frames
24 Frames

Picture gallery of movie bears

Good Friday
Good Friday

50 movie posters gallery

Summer Movies
Summer Movies

10 most anticipated blockbusters

Latest News on When a Stranger Calls

January 31, 2008:
Box Office Guru Preview: Montana Hopes to Win Super Bowl Trophy
While Brady and Manning duke it out in Phoenix, the $15 movie ticket aims to conquer the multiplexes...
February 8, 2007:
Box Office Guru Preview: Comedy vs. Cannibals at the Multiplexes
Moviegoers get to choose between a master comic taking on three roles or a diabolical screen villain...
February 5, 2007:
Box Office Guru Wrapup: "Messengers" Scores Slim Win Over Super Bowl Weekend
With the Super Bowl taking males out of the picture, mothers and daughters squared off at the North...
Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile