When a Stranger Calls - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

When a Stranger Calls Reviews

Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
June 24, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Anita Gates
New York Times
February 18, 2006
The film is not quite suspense-free, but almost. When finding a dead body underwater isn't scary, something is very wrong.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
February 16, 2006
The original should have been a short film; the new version shouldn't exist at all.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Matt Singer
Village Voice
February 13, 2006
This version is a thin, protracted study in shifting Hollywood strategies.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 11, 2006
A production that never comes close to realizing its potential to tweak the viewer's primal fears.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
February 11, 2006
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 | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Tim Grierson
L.A. Weekly
February 9, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
February 8, 2006
This leaves young Belle (The Ballad of Jack and Rose) to wander rooms aimlessly, and for the musicians and Foley artists to work feverishly pretending there's reason for suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 6, 2006
When a Stranger Calls has been remade -- with undistinguished if inoffensive results -- by Simon West, who is quickly becoming a reliable purveyor of Hollywood's dreckiest dreck.
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
February 6, 2006
Dial M for mediocre.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
February 6, 2006
For real thrills, rent the original, turn down the lights and scare yourself silly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 6, 2006
The scare-free When a Stranger Calls is the worst of the seminal horror movies from the late '70s and early '80s that have been getting the remake treatment lately.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
February 3, 2006
Even by the lowest standards, this is a frightless, cynically made movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Leydon
Variety
February 3, 2006
A modestly clever concept gets indifferent execution in When a Stranger Calls, another bigger-yet-blander remake of an allegedly classic' '70s shocker.
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
February 3, 2006
Nothing in this droopy remake of the 1978 thriller starring Carol Kane could possibly be as frightening as the Windex bill for those two-story picture windows, not to mention the ones that surround the indoor arboretum and fish pond.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
February 3, 2006
This week's installment in the 'this film is so bad we're not screening it for critics' series.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
February 3, 2006
It's funny how the story's mechanics hold up in the age of cells (static) and caller ID.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5