PG13 87min 2006
“When a Stranger Calls” is a re-imaging of a film from 1979, taking the urban legend of the babysitter and the prank call killer.
Supposedly a horror film there was never really shows anything horrible. This is more of a psychological thriller playing on subconscious. Camilla Belle’s character is a smarter heroine.
Marketed as a “smarty and edgy horror” is not here unless you mean the implied horror of a family murdered with out a weapon and carried out in trash bags. Now movies are trying to be smart and edgy and try to scare you without all the gore of the eighties. There’s not one scene with blood in it. The horror comes in the situations that the babysitter faces.
A psychological thriller at heart it plays on the subconscious. It uses all those little tricks your mind plays that frighten you. This film will scare not everyone or other will not appreciate its subtleties. But does give you enough to give you a jumping scare at least once.
“When a Stranger Calls” has a smarter heroine a the front of this film, for the majority of this film it’s just Camilla Belle and a phone. She says a lot with her facial expressions. The decisions her character makes are smarter than the average horror film heroine. She uses her brain in every action she takes. Each action has a purpose and reasoning behind it, and done with the ultimate goal of overcoming this killer and coming out of this situation alive.
The DVD is bare on special features but movie previews a plenty. It features two commentaries, one by the director Simon West and actress Camilla Belle. The other features the writer Jake Wade Walls. It has deleted scenes and a making of featurette. The bulk of the extras are previews: UltraViolet, RV, The Da Vinci Code, The Cave, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Talladega Nights, The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold, The Fog, Marie Antoinette, The Benchwarmers, Fun with Dick and Jane, The Pink Panther (2000), The Ultimate James Bond Collection, and Click.
I give it 4/5 Gs.