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.

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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.
PG-13 (for intense terror, violence and some language.)
Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Camilla Belle
as Jill Johnson
Tessa Thompson
as Scarlet
Katie Cassidy
as Tiffany
Clark Gregg
as Mr. Johnson
Derek de Lint
as Dr. Mandrakis
Kate Jennings Grant
as Mrs. Mandrakis
David Denman
as Officer Burroughs
Arthur Young
as Will Mandrakis
Madeline Carroll
as Allison Mandrakis
Steve Eastin
as Detective Hines
John Bobek
as Officer Lewis
Rosine 'Ace' Hatem
as Rosa Ramirez
Tommy Flanagan
as Stranger
Lance Henriksen
as Stranger
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Critic Reviews for When a Stranger Calls

All Critics (91) | Top Critics (17)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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… | June 23, 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.

February 17, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

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

February 16, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

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

February 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… | February 10, 2006
Top Critic

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.

Eric Shankle
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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Great horror flick that makes you scared to ever answer a phone ever again. I was terrified after the movie when my dad called the house to scare us. If you want to be completely freaked out then watch this movie.

Cassie Hill
Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

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