HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  When a Stranger Calls Hung Up
Year: 2006
Director: Simon West
Stars: Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, Brian Geraghty, Clark Gregg, Derek de Lint, Kate Jennings Grant, David Denman, Arthur Young, Madeline Carroll, Steve Eastin, John Bobek, Lance Henriksen
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Over a hundred miles away there was a brutal murder committed where even the investigating detective was revolted at what he saw, and to make matters worse, the killer was still on the loose. But what did this have to do with Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle)? She was a high school student who was having boyfriend trouble when she caught him with another girl, and parent trouble when she ran up very high charges on her phone bill. This meant she was grounded for a month, so could not attend the bonfire her schoolmates were going to that evening, and to make matters worse she had to babysit to make some cash for her bill...

So what did the killer have to do with Jill? You'll have to wait until the end to find out, and that was the chief problem with When a Stranger Calls: for most of the time, nothing was happening. Sure, there would be the odd phone call from an anonymous source, but other than that nothing that couldn't be explained away by Jill's imagination, stuck out in the middle of nowhere in a large, modern house with two unseen children sleeping upstairs and nobody to talk to. Obviously those crank calls are leading up to something, but take away James Dooley's menacing score heaving away in the background, you'd never know it.

This was a sort of remake of the 1979 slasher with pretentions When a Stranger Calls, where the first twenty minutes saw babysitter Carol Kane frightened out of her wits by a psycho phone caller, then got distracted into thinking we wanted to delve into the psychology of the baddie until it recovered its sense of purpose for the finale. Don't expect any of that here, as this was strictly about those opening few minutes stretched out to patience-testing length where Belle wanders the big house and hangs on the phone apropos of not very much. If anything, this was more like the first ten minutes of Scream only without the intensity and dragging on in a failed try at suspense.

As you're waiting for the big finale where the payoff to those calls occurs, you may be hoping that the tension would be at snapping point by the time the psycho made his move, but this was not the case. There's more walking about here by the leading lady than there is in all of the Lord of the Rings movies combined: no wonder we see her in training at the beginning. Add to that the fact that this is all based around a well known urban myth, and no it's not the one that ends with the girlfriend looking back at the car and seeing her boyfriend dead on the roof with his head bashed in, although that should be due for a movie rendering any day now, and there are absolutely no surprises here.

And yet, you could argue that When a Stranger Calls 2006 was not made for jaded fright fans at all, it was intended to be watched by teenage girls who didn't want anything too gory, and preferred the light, enjoyable scares that a middling effort such as this provided to the undemanding. After all, the heroine is a teenage girl herself, so the target audience was well represented seeing as how they were shown a character who overcame her fears and prevailed with admirable capability, even if she does suffer nightmares because of it: you don't want some fantasy superwoman in this type of thing, do you? So if this was purely manufactured - and that's the right word, there's not one thing artistically inspired about it - for entertainment at pajama parties and the like, you can't really begrudge it for serving its own limited purpose, and besides, it may lead the audience to better works in the future.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2029 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: