When a Stranger Calls - Remake (2006)
IMDb Rating 4.3
Front Cover Actor Back Cover
Camilla Belle Jill Johnson
Tommy Flanagan Stranger
Katie Cassidy Tiffany
Tessa Thompson Scarlet
Brian Geraghty Bobby
Clark Gregg Mr. Johnson
Derek de Lint Dr. Mandrakis
Kate Jennings Grant Mrs. Mandrakis
David Denman Officer Burroughs
Arthur Young Will Mandrakis
Kevin Wethington
The smartest thing about the remake of When a Stranger Calls is that it strips the original 1979 version to its bare essentials as a primal exercise in stormy-night terror. While taking the original film's suspenseful first act and expanding it into an 87-minute cat-and-mouse game, screenwriter Jake Wade Wall adds a few clever updates involving cellphones and home-security services, as well as the maze-like menace of a lavish modern home that serves as the setting for mayhem when cute teenager Jill (Camilla Belle, in the role originated by Carol Kane) takes on a babysitting job that she may live to regret. Someone is stalking her in the big, expensive glass palace that her employers call home (a splendid set designed by Jon Gary Steele), and that creepy voice on the phone (belonging to Lance Henriksen, master of doom-laden threat) should've been her first clue to grab the pair of terrified kids she's supposed to be protecting and leave the house ASAP. But no, the script, the overwrought score, and the uninspired direction of Simon West (Con-Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) insist that poor Jill be put through a Halloween-like night from hell, complete with a black cat as an omen of nasty things to come. Kudos to Wall and West for attempting to generate horror through suggestion (by keeping the homicidal stalker mostly off-screen), but let's face it: the original film is hardly a classic (its TV-movie sequel, When a Stranger Calls Back, is considerably better), and the remake takes too long to yield minimal rewards. Maybe Jill should've just unplugged the phone. --Jeff Shannon
Movie Details
Genre Horror; Thriller
Director Simon West
Producer John Davis; Wyck Godfrey
Writer Jake Wade Wall; Steve Feke
Studio Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Country USA
Language English
Audience Rating PG-13
Running Time 87 mins
Movie Release Date 2/3/2006
Color Color
Personal Details
Format DVD
Seen It Yes
Index 700
Collection Status In Collection
Purchase Date 7/17/2006
Product Details
Region Region 1
Screen Ratio Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Layers Single Side, Dual Layer
UPC (Barcode) 043396145108
Release Date 5/16/2006
Subtitles English; French
Packaging Keep Case
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Extra Features
Deleted Scenes
Director and Cast Commentary
The Making of When A Stranger Calls Featurette
Writer's Commentary
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