Sunday, March 6, 2016

Movie review: When a Stranger Calls

A remake of the 1979 thriller, Jill is babysitting at a house out in the middle of nowhere when she starts getting strange phone calls. Things just get stranger when she police trace the calls as coming from inside the house.

Camilla Belle (Jill Johnson), Katie Cassidy (Tiffany), Tommy Flanagan (Stranger).

Maybe I’ve just seen this story to many times but it doesn’t do much on the scare factor scale anymore. In this version, we don’t even see Stranger until over an hour into the movie. And you never see his face until the very end of the movie. Even the children aren’t seen until well into the film when they are suddenly in danger but, since there has been no character development for them it is hard to feel their fear.

Acting by Belle was mediocre at best. I didn’t feel her communicate the fear or emotion of her character very well. Supporting actors did well but their appearances were so brief there wasn’t time for a connection with any of them. Camera work was well done and the house set was wonderful. Sound and dialogue were nicely done but not exciting at all.

If you truly want a good horror flick you could do much better than this one.

The PG-13 rating is about right with no nudity, little foul language, and surprisingly little blood and guts.

Released: 2006
Reviewed: 2.23.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Teen Scream, Suspense

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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