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When a Stranger Calls

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Editorial Reviews

To Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle, The Ballad of Jack and Rose), 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.

Special Features

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

Product Details

  • Actors: Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, Brian Geraghty
  • Directors: Simon West
  • Writers: Fred Walton, Jake Wade Wall, Steve Feke
  • Producers: John Davis, Ken Lemberger, Paddy Cullen, Wyck Godfrey
  • 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: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F6IOAM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,700 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When a Stranger Calls" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 4, 2006
Format: DVD
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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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 29, 2006
Format: DVD
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ACEMAN1 on March 14, 2010
Format: DVD
When I was getting ready to watch this film I was bracing myself for a crapfest. I was very surprised that I didn't hate it. Granted, it won't wow anyone unless you're a teenage girl who has never watched a horror film, but it provides enough entertainment to serve as a likable midnight horror flick. I think people criticize this film more than it deserves. Even if you hate it you can't deny that this film is a big cut above atrocious remakes like Prom Night and The Wicker Man (Hands down, the worst of the remakes I've witnessed thus far).
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Jill Johnson is a teenage girl going through troubles recently. Her boyfriend cheated on her and it turns out she ran up a large cell phone bill. So her parents force her to babysit for a rich family who just so happen to live in the middle of nowhere (Yes this film has stupid little inconsistencies and cliches). The family she is babysitting is fairly nice and let Jill do pretty much whatever she wants. She mostly explores the house since the children are sleeping, but then she starts getting strange phone calls. At first the voice doesn't say anything, but after a few phone calls, the caller poses the question, "Have you checked the children?" Jill panics of course and checks, but the children are unharmed and the phone calls continue. But then she realizes the caller can see her and then it becomes a fight for survival against a killer.
MUSIC: The music fits the horror mood as it should, and I really have no gripes against it.
ACTING: Mixed. Some actors do a fairly good job, while others just plain suck. Camilla Belle's performance I felt was decent and nowhere near as bad as people said it was. While the acting wasn't great, there were enough decent performances to hold it together.
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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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