Friday, August 9, 2013

"When A Stranger Calls" Movie Review – Have You Checked the Children?

Runtime: 87 minutes
Release Date: February 3, 2006
Rating: PG-13
Director: Simon West

Jill is a typical high school student with a boyfriend and a high cell phone bill. Her dad is so upset over her most recent bill that he grounds her and takes away her phone, and he arranges for her to take a babysitting job for a couple she never met before. As the kids recently were sick, the mother recommends that she just let him sleep, leaving Jill to rummage through the house and watch television all night.

A stranger calls her on the phone, makes some vague comments, and hangs up. When he calls back, she calls the police and asks for help. They can't really do anything, but let her know they might be able to help if he calls back again. Her best friend Tiffany randomly shows up, and when Jill makes her leave, the killer dispatches of her friend. Throughout the night, he keeps calling back until he finally begins asking about the children, leaving Jill to wonder what he really wants.

The original "When A Stranger Calls" is one of my favorite campy films, but the remake is a close second. I know a lot of people hated this film, but I didn't have a problem with it, and I think it holds up well. The mid-2000s saw a number of PG and PG-13 rated horror films hitting the theater, and horror films complained. I saw this in the theater, bought a copy when it came out, and I've probably watched it once a year ever since then. There is just something campy about the movie that I really like.

Camilla Belle manages to carry almost the entire film on her shoulders. For a good portion of the movie, she only interacts with a voice on the phone. She does a great job of playing a teenager who doesn't know what she should do. She doesn't want to call her dad and make him think she's a kid, but she also doesn't want to stay in the house alone.

Speaking of the house, this is easily one of the coolest films I ever saw in any film let alone a horror movie. The house is unbelievably cool and creepy at the same time. If you haven't watched "When A Stranger Calls" because of the bad reviews, just give it a shot.

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