When a Stranger Calls

When a Stranger Calls
When a Stranger Calls
  • PG-13
  • 1h 27m
  • 2006
Common Sense Media Iconage 16+
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To Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle, The Ballad of Jack and Rose), it was the perfect babysitting job. The parents were away. The fridge was stocked. The children were tucked into bed. But then the phone rings and an ominous voice asks, "Have you checked the children?" Locked in with the lights out and the curtains drawn, a panicky Jill phones the police, who trace the calls -- only to inform her they're coming from inside the house. And as the frightened teenager goes upstairs to check on the children, Jill's quiet night of babysitting is about to turn into a nerve-shattering nightmare of suspense, horror and dread.
© 2006 Screen Gems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Critics Consensus: When a Stranger Calls ranks among the more misguided remakes in horror history, offering little more than a rote, largely fright-free update to the original.
Entertainment Weekly

June 21, 2017
Time Out
Nigel Floyd

If you've seen either Black Christmas or Halloween, there's nothing new here: the hyped-up score k...

June 21, 2017
New York Times
Anita Gates

The film is not quite suspense-free, but almost. When finding a dead body underwater isn't scary,...

June 21, 2017
AV Club
Scott Tobias

The original should have been a short film; the new version shouldn't exist at all.

June 21, 2017
Village Voice
Matt Singer

This version is a thin, protracted study in shifting Hollywood strategies.

June 21, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 16+
Common Sense Says
Pointless remake brings nothing new to the story.

What Parents Need to Know

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.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Horror, Thriller
  • Release Date:February 2, 2006
  • Highest Available for Purchase:HD

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