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 <email@example.com>
Star Tony Beckley was terminally ill throughout the production, because of this he did not fit the description of the killer but Fred Walton refused to recast him as they were good friends. He later passed away just after the principal photography was shot. Director Fred Walton dedicated the film's 1993 sequel 'When A Stranger Calls Back' to the memory of Beckley. See more »
Based on the year the film took place, 1 minute would not be nearly long enough to trace Curt's call. Back when the movie was set, it would've taken 10-20 minutes for several switchboards and circuits to locate the origin of the call. See more »
"When A Stranger Calls" is a thriller that, while not perfect, does overall deliver a lot of chills. The opening sequence is the most memorable part - while you will guess the surprise twist in this segment long before it happens, the sequence is masterfully directed so it comes across as creepy all the same. The climatic scene, while a little short, also delivers a jolt.
While the opening and closing are well done, the middle portion of the movie has a problem. It's not only very slow, not much happens to advance the plot. Still, this middle segment often has a moody feeling that fits well with the rest of the movie, and Tony Beckley's performance as the psycho is a good one.
By the way, while the movie was rated "R" when it was first released, most viewers in this day and age will find that rating a little harsh. By today's standards, the movie deserves a PG-13 rating. Maybe even a PG rating.
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