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When a Stranger Calls (1979)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,382 users  
Reviews: 106 user | 50 critic

A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Kirsten Larkin ...
William Boyett ...
Sgt. Sacker (as Bill Boyett)
...
...
Heetu ...
Houseboy
...
Tony Beckley ...
...
...
Joseph Reale ...
Bartender (as Joe Reale)
Ed Wright ...
Retired Man
Louise Wright ...
Retired Woman
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Storyline

High school student Jill Johnson is traumatized over an evening of babysitting by a caller who repeatedly asks, "Have you checked the children lately?" After notifying the police, Jill is told that the calls are coming from inside the house... Written by Betsy Bloomley <betsybloom@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...Fear is the Message! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

'n maniak belt op...  »

Box Office

Budget:

$740,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Number 28 on Bravo Channel's 100 Scariest Movie Moments. See more »

Goofs

When Jill has a drink at the wet bar, the grandfather clock is visible in the shot, about a foot to the right of the bar. In all other shots the clock is about four to five feet from the bar, much closer to the hallway. See more »

Quotes

Curt Duncan: [to Tracey, at the bar] My mind. Your mind. Where do they fit in? Do you see what i mean?
[Tracey glares, turns her head and moves a stool away from him]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Nightmare (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Huelga En General
Performed by El Teatro Campesino
Courtesy of Menyah Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A sharp, unnerving chiller!
23 October 2008 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

Near-classic suspense film takes some inspiration from such classic horror movies as Black Christmas (1974) and Halloween (1978), and proves to be a worthy follower!

Lunatic terrorizes babysitter via telephone, now years later he is on the loose again. Will a private investigator be able to stop him before he reaches his earlier victim's family?

While the mid-portions of this film become a bit more of a crime-drama, the opening sequences and the grand finale are truly scary! Director Fred Walton builds atmosphere and extreme tension so well that even as we can guess the out come of a scene it's still terribly intense! Walton keeps the story intriguing through out, delivering some awesome moments of edge-of-your-seat suspense. Also adding nicely to the moodiness of this film is the eerie music of Dana Kapraff.

The cast is very good. The great Charles During does a solid job as the PI. Carol Kane is captivating as the babysitter turned victim. But perhaps best of all is the late Tony Beckley. Beckley makes for a completely scary madman, but oddly enough manages to create some sympathy for his character!

When a Stranger Calls is a too often over-looked thriller. For those seeking a film with some terrific suspense, it's an excellent choice!

Followed by a television sequel in 1993.

*** 1/2 out of ****


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