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When a Stranger Calls (2006)

Camilla Belle , Tommy Flanagan , Simon West  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, Brian Geraghty
  • Directors: Simon West
  • Format: Full Screen, Closed-captioned, Color
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F6IOAM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,337 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When a Stranger Calls" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Director and Cast Commentary
  • Writer's Commentary
  • "The Making Of When A Stranger Calls"
  • Deleted Scenes

Editorial Reviews

To Jill Johnson, it was the perfect babysitting job. The parents were away. The fridge was stocked. The children were tucked into bed. But then the phone rings and an ominous voice asks, 'Have you checked the children?' Locked in with the lights out and the curtains drawn, a panicky Jill phones the police, who trace the calls ' only to inform her they're coming from inside the house. And as the frightened teenager goes upstairs to check on the children, Jill's quiet night of babysitting is about to turn into a nerve-shattering nightmare of suspense, horror and dread.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Another in a long line of remakes, "When A Stranger Calls" tells the story of a young baby-sitter and her two charges tormented by a madman. This is your standard omnipresent evildoer--he can be anywhere at anytime with no basis in logic. In fact, one scene involving the guest house--he's practically in two places at once! Apparently he stalks young women (so the film tells us)--however this baby-sitter was hired at the last minute, so I'm not sure how he targeted this house in the middle of nowhere and knew the owners would be going out. Quite frankly, with a live-in maid--I'm not quite sure why they hired a baby-sitter they didn't know to sit their kids who were already fast asleep. Rosa, the maid, seemed nice enough--surely she wouldn't have minded the extra bit of bother. But let's not dwell.

In truth, there's nothing wrong with the idea of remaking "When A Stranger Calls." While I'm not a huge fan of remakes, the original movie certainly had ample opportunities for improvement. All anyone remembers from the Carol Kane film are the first twenty minutes. But those twenty minutes are classic suspense and hugely effective. Unfortunately, the remainder of the film devolved into a rather routine police procedural. This updating sought to isolate the scenario from the beginning of that movie and expand it to feature length. However, that becomes a little trickier when technology has improved so vastly in the last 25 years. Home phones are almost obsolete these days in the era of cell phones, Internet, text messages, etc.--not to mention features on the phone like Caller ID and Blocking.

But anyway, we'll set all that aside for now. The technological improbability is the least of this film's issues. More to the forefront is a complete lack of originality.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it! July 26, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I have watched this movie several times and jump at the same parts every time. I love the fact that it could really be true. Suspense movies that are more realistic are my favorite kind of movies.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A Kid's Review
Typical teen Jill Johnson has gone over her mobile phone bill and must make up the money to pay for it, thus why she baby sits for a rich family. Everything's go perfectly, the kids in bed, the alarm system activated... She settles down for a boring night...... But then... The phone rings.... A series of anonymous terrifying phone calls escalate until the stranger asks her "Have you checked the children lately?"

The events that unfold are truly terrifying....

This Film Is.... Absolutely amazing!!!!!

This would have to be without a doubt the best horror movie I have seen in a long time, the movies success is thanks to the amazing brunette Camilla Belle who plays the protagonist Jill Johnson (The Patriot), she gives an outstanding performance of the terrified victim. A refreshing change from the cliché blonde victim.

Based on one of the scariest of all urban legends 'The Babysitter and the man upstairs" this film is extremely suspenseful and will have you on the edge of your seat until the closing credits and last SURPRISE!

I extremely recommend this film to everyone, it's scary without making you feel sick at how scary it was. Amazing time and effort went into making it and this can be seen through extravagant surroundings (the house she baby sits at is UNBELIEVABLE!)and lighting is equally brilliant.

Plenty of scares and thrills in this!!!! Belle's acting is brilliant and your yearning for her to be ok...

Sit back and enjoy....

But whatever you do, DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars When a Stranger Calls -- Yet Another Remake August 26, 2006
"The phone calls are coming from inside the house!" I don't think I ruined the movie for anyone, because that line of dialog was used in the 1979 original. Yes, what we have here is yet another remake that comes nowhere near the original in quality, and shows Hollywood's well of creativity has certainly run dry.

Why, oh, why didn't I use Hollywood's reasoning when I did my highschool and college papers? I could have simply copied my friends' original term papers and called it an updated remake. It certainly would have made my life easier, but my conscience reminded me that cutting corners in such a way would only reinforce that I couldn't think for myself.

And so we have today's Hollywood: Why bother with putting forth any effort? Let's just shamelessly take a classic and do it again for a new generation! Yeah! It'll me new to the teen age audiences who we assume are too dense to know about the original, right? And we'll gleefully take their money and reward them with a subpar "update" on the original.

Here's the plot of the updated version. Jill Johnson gets in trouble for going 800 minutes over on the family's cell phone share plan. Her punishment? Babysitting.

So to fufill her punishment, grumpy Dad takes his daughter over to the home of the wealthy parents to watch their presumably wild kids, currently sick with the flu. She gets the run of the house and is told to disregard any noise upstairs because it's Rosa the maid.

The parents leave and our generic heroine starts looking around the house. Chester the housecat provides a few false scares, as does Rosa, the noisy maid.

A few phone calls come in, but it's Jill's friends calling to prank her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a lot of gore, but plenty of scares :)
This movie is so awesome. You've got that one actress with the freakin' weird eyebrows who ends up babysitting in a house made of glass (stupid idea, pretty much). Read more
Published 20 days ago by Kylie
5.0 out of 5 stars I think it's great!
I've seen this a handful of times and have wanted to own it since I first watched. There are gaping plot holes, and it's exponentially cheesy, sure. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lacy Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller without the blood and gore
My sister and I love psychological thrillers. We loved this so much, It will be an worn out addition to our up-north cottage collection. Read more
Published 2 months ago by gmfnanook
4.0 out of 5 stars see the original 1st
the house was cool-looking where this was filmed and it was suspensful, but Camilla Belle is not a good actress and cannot fill the shoes of Carol Kane in the original version.
Published 2 months ago by Quest224
5.0 out of 5 stars "Surprisingly, I Liked This Film"
I was 10 years old when I first watched the original "When a Stranger Calls" and it scared me to death. This was the era of no cell phones and caller ID. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Terrance Richard
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie
i love this movie. suspenseful and fast paced, and it's really interesting. I watch it during my chick flick night with the girls :)
Published 4 months ago by CeCe
4.0 out of 5 stars simple but good
Good movie, not overly bloody or too much gore just simple and scary. I like the simplicity of it. I got the HD instant digital download and the quality is quite good.
Published 5 months ago by Christopher Mata
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a Rental
This is a fairly good scary movie that is worth the price of a rental. Camilla Bell plays a young babysitter who takes a last minute babysitting job for a very wealthy couple who... Read more
Published 6 months ago by I'd rather be at the Beach
5.0 out of 5 stars When a Stranger Calls was the scariest movie ever
When a Stranger Calls was the scariest movie ever the action in the movie was good. I was scared
s***less out of my pants after I've start watching this movie. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Leelee Sheed
4.0 out of 5 stars When a Stranger Calls
Plays on the very scary urban legend of a scary caller who in reality is calling from inside the house. Intense and thrilling.
Published 9 months ago by CMS
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Topic From this Discussion
Is this sick?
It was a little disappointing...the ending, that is. Well, the movie was diappointing also.
Dec 30, 2006 by fra7299 |  See all 2 posts
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