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When a Stranger Calls (1979) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • A young high school student, Jill Johnson is babysitting one night for a physician and his wife. During the evening, a mysterious phone caller begins taunting her. Sometimes he simply says nothing, other times he asks, 'Have you checked the children?'. Jill eventually becomes frightened for her safety and calls the police. The police successfully trace his next call and discover something horrifying - the calls are being made from INSIDE THE HOUSE! Police are immediately dispatched and Jill narrowly escapes into the arms of Lt. Clifford. Officers soon discover that the children had been savagely murdered hours ago by the caller, who had been using a phone the parents never had disconnected. 7 years later, the murderer escapes from a mental hospital and resumes his demented mission - this time going after Jill's husband, Steven - and their children. And Clifford - now a P.I. hired by the father of the murdered children - is also hunting the murderer...

    - Written by Derek O'Cain
  • High School student Jill Johnson agrees to baby sit while the Dr. and Mrs. enjoy a night on the town. After she tucks the children snuggly into bed, upstairs, telephone calls from a stranger begin to disrupt what she had planned as a quiet evening of study. At first, the unidentified caller says nothing which leads Jill to believe that an acquaintance is playing a joke. After several similar calls, she becomes unnerved and calls the police when the silent stranger still offers no clue to his identity. The phone calls continue... Finally, an eery voice on the other end of the line asks ominously "Have you checked the children, lately?" It appears that the stranger can see her and is aware of her movements. She closes all the curtains and turns out the lights believing that the darkness is her only hiding place. By this time, the police are tracing the origin of the calls. Jill is told she must stall for time, the next time he calls, so that the trace can be completed. More calls... "Why haven't you checked the children?" the caller asks. Jill, by now frightened nearly out of her wits, screams into the receiver "Leave me alone!" and slams the phone down onto it's cradle. Again, the phone rings, but this time it's the police who have successfully traced the call. "Jill," the detective says, "we've traced the calls... They're coming from inside the house!"

    - Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>
  • A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.

    - Written by J. Spurlin

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