6.5/10
7,772
121 user 66 critic

When a Stranger Calls (1979)

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

Director:

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

When a Stranger Calls Back (TV Movie 1993)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young babysitter, all alone in the house with two children asleep above, is bothered by a stranger. Unfortunately, the phone's dead...

Director: Fred Walton
Stars: Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Jill Schoelen
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

During a babysitting gig, a high-school student is harassed by an increasingly threatening prank caller.

Director: Simon West
Stars: Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After murdering his entire family, a man remarries a widow with a teenage daughter in another town and prepares to do it all over again.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Terry O'Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane
Prom Night (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

At a high school senior prom, a masked killer stalks four teenagers who were responsible for the accidental death of a classmate six years previously.

Director: Paul Lynch
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens
The Sitter (1977)
Short | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A babysitter is menaced by mysterious and frightening phone calls.

Director: Fred Walton
Stars: Lucia Stralser
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jill Johnson
... Mrs. Mandrakis
... Dr. Mandrakis
Kirsten Larkin ... Nancy
... Sgt. Sacker (as Bill Boyett)
... John Clifford
... Lt. Charlie Garber
Heetu ... Houseboy
... Dr. Monk
... Curt Duncan
... Tracy
... Bill
Joseph Reale ... Bartender (as Joe Reale)
... Retired Man
Louise Wright ... Retired Woman
Edit

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:

A Terrifying Classic! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Grauen kommt um Zehn  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,411,158
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is based on the infamous babysitter-and-the-man-upstairs urban legend, which has been an element in several horror films but is most closely associated with this film. 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

[repeated line]
Curt Duncan: Have you checked the children?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in DVD-R Hell: Too Smart for Strangers (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

"Have you checked the children?"
8 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

When a Stranger Calls boasts the scariest opening in film history. Wes Craven completely ripped this intro off in Scream. It's that good. Too bad the rest of the film isn't. It goes completely downhill after the beginning. It's so scary and has such a tense start that you can hardly watch it without holding your breathe. My girlfriend couldn't watch it period. She had to turn her head and keep asking me when it was over. It's very subtle, slow, and deliberate, and very frightening. The rest of the film can't live up to the energy generated by the beginning. But still, I recommend this because the beginning alone is better than most fright flicks in their entirety.


38 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 121 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial