A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.
During an evening of babysitting, high-school student Jill Johnson is terrorized by a caller who keeps asking "Have you checked the children lately?" When she calls the police, they inform her that the calls are coming from inside the house.Written by
Betsy Bloomley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tony Beckley, who played the psychotic British killer Curt Duncan, was said to be high strung and sensitive during shooting. He had become fascinated with Carol Kane and was fixated on her talent, to the point that he wound up having a nervous breakdown on the set; he felt so nervous and inadequate. Director Fred Walton was unable to fix the situation, but Colleen Dewhurst was. Beckley complained to her that Kane was "so talented". Dewhurst replied "yeah, but we're better!". And that fixed it for Beckley, and he was no longer intimidated. See more »
Although it is most certainly not the actor's (Tony Beckley's) fault because he was terminally ill during production, the killer Curt Duncan looks far too physically frail to have realistically torn two children apart with his bare hands. See more »
Lets get something straight here, Doctor. I've been 33 years in the business of tracking people down and putting them away... spent almost a year alone on the case of Curt Duncan with the trial and the testimonies and the background investigations. Now, I didn't come here today to look in your God damn folders, in fact I probably wouldn't be here at all if you had done your job right.
This is a hospital, Mr. Clifford, not a penitentiary. Everything appertaining to one of our patients is ...
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"When a Stranger Calls" is a somewhat entertaining horror-suspense-thriller that starts off great, loses steam in the middle, then comes back for a good finish. The beginning of this movie is outstanding, with babysitter Carol Kane receiving obscene phone calls from an unknown maniac. This is far and away the best part of the film. It's scary, creepy, and downright eerie. But it doesn't sustain that level through the entire film. The mid-portion of the movie is rather dull, featuring a few lazy supporting performances. But "When a Stranger Calls" redeems itself with a nail-biting climax, even though the conclusion doesn't top the film's opening in terms of scariness. Carol Kane and Charles Durning are good in the roles of the terrified babysitter and the private detective searching for the killer when he's on the loose. "When a Stranger Calls" is not a great horror movie but a good one. And its better than the cable-made sequel that came out fourteen years later, "When a Stranger Calls Back".
*** (out of four)
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