When a Stranger Calls
This harrowing thriller follows a babysitter who begins receiving phone calls from a menacing prankster. After tucking in the kids, she locks up and sets the security alarm -- only to find that the calls seem to be coming from inside the house.
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- Simon West
- This movie is
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1Subtitles
English, FrenchClosed captioned
YesLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1Other features
Color; Filmed in B&W; scene access; deleted scenes; director's commentary; making-of featurette.
When a Stranger CallsClose
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this remake of a 1979 serial killer film features sustained tension and lots of dark corners in a large, isolated house. It includes mild language and several jump scenes (a cat out of the shadows, a body in a bathroom, scary shadows when doors are open or shut). The babysitter calls a couple of friends and worries that her boyfriend has kissed another girl. Wind blows, rain pounds, thunder claps. The killer calls repeatedly, breathing heavily or threatening the babysitter; when he appears (as a silhouette), the killer chases the babysitter and two young, crying children around the house. Two bodies appear (eyes popped open, images that may be disturbing for younger viewers), though murders are not shown. The film opens with a disturbing sequence, cutting between a fairground and an unseen group murder, comprised of loud screams, abrupt pans, tilted angles, and jarring edits.
- Sexual Content
- Discussion of a boyfriend's "cheating" (he kissed another girl while drunk); girls in close-fitting shirts; house features nude figures artwork (statues and paintings).
- A disconcerting opening sequence (fairground images and screams, with no explicit violence, but a detective appears horrified by what he sees and bloody bodybags are removed from a house); in film proper, two bodies appear on screen (murders take place off); wind/storm outside is ominous; killer chases babysitter and kids, which leads to fighting (kicking and hitting), stabbing with a fireplace poker, throwing of furniture, bloodied and bruised face and limbs; cat eats a canary; another jump scene in an empty-seeming hospital room at film's end.
- Some strong language ("hell," "damn," two s-words, "a--hole," "skank," and "b---h").
- Social Behavior
- Babysitter is virtuous, protecting two young children against relentless stalker.
- Not applicable
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- One girl who comes to visit suggests drinking tequila, but babysitter asks her to leave.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it