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When a Stranger Calls

3.3 out of 5 stars 243 customer reviews

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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, Katie Cassidy, Brian Geraghty, Clark Gregg
  • Directors: Simon West
  • Producers: Ken Lemberger, John Davis, 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)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    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
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F6IOAM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,086 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When a Stranger Calls" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many of the current crop of low-budget horror movies (dating back to 2000) are so predictable and similar, I was "majorly" surprised at how entertained and involved I was with this 2006 offering WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, a remake of the cult 70s film. I first watched this suspense tale back in '06 and it is now a regular in my dvd collection. This movie is a cut above the standard teens-in-peril slasher movies that have been coming out in droves the last 15 or so years since movies like Scream, Urban Legend, and I Know What You Did Last Summer rejuvenated the genre in the late 90s. While those 3 movies had unique plots, twists, and turns, everything else that's come out in the 00s is either a retread or copies of those films or poor remakes of 70s/80s horror movies. But THIS remake is a keeper!

Ingenue Camilla Belle is very engaging and underrated in this movie, being the sole main character and having the difficult task of keeping the viewer involved in the plot. Belle plays Jill Johnson, a very refreshing character, a teenager that's actually responsible and mature, but not in an annoying, self-conscious way that makes you want to punch the TV screen! While Jill is still more mature than the average teen, she's not an outcast. She's an athlete on the track and field team and has a close circle of friends, one of which kissed Jill's boyfriend. An upset Jill overused her cell phone minutes, so her Dad punishes her by forcing her to babysit for an affluent couple in town, thus the main plot of the film.

These early minor details of the goings-on in Jill's life are key to the plot and give her character some personality, which helps the viewer relate to her.
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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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