69. When a Stranger Calls (2006)

Solution: Get a new phone plan

Directed by: Simon West
Written by: Jake Wade Wall
Starring:Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan and Katie Cassidy

Babysitting can be a super dull job. And at the rate that When a Stranger Calls moves, you start to feel like stabbing the central character yourself just to get things rolling.

Jill (Belle) is babysitting for a house in the middle of nowhere (how convenient). It’s a swanky house but with all the fancy-shmancy lighting and water features, Jill feels a little creeped out. But with the children tucked in bed, fast asleep, and a security system that seems pretty airtight, Jill mooches around the house, postponing what we love about horror films. That is until she starts getting creepy phone calls and can’t ignore the fact that there’s somone in da house.

No more lifelines for you!

With the ridiculous number of phone calls that Jill ends up taking, making and staring at, the connection between victim and murderer and the only way in which to save her own skin, actually gets pretty annoying and distracting. On top of that, the killer doesn’t even have any good lines!

For a horror film, When a Stranger Calls is very very tame. For a remake of what’s a fantastic set up – the victim being responsible for the welfare of children, but being completely helpless to look after herself – the film is an absolute disappointment. With films like these, its amazing how they can miss out on their own inherent advantages and sit comfortably in the tried and tested conventions of old. Never call back here again, you shit horror film!


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