Movie Review: WHEN A STRANGER CALLS [2006]Screen Gems

“Have you checked the children?”

Some teenager is babysitting in a very swank house, she receives some harassing phone calls, stalked by some guy, then…well…let’s just say that by this time, it was too late to demand my money back at the box office in front…*sigh*…

You are sitting in a comfy chair, reading this review of When A Stranger Calls remake, when the phone besides you rings, making you visibly jump. You pick up the phone, lifting it nonchalantly to your ear

YOU: Hello?

heavy breathing

YOU: Grandma? Is that you? What have I told you about making phone calls to the outside world?

CLOSE UP: The telephone speaker end on your ear

DEEP VOICE: You’re going to suffer tonight!

YOU: Who is this? If you’re from that collection agency, I told you, the check’s in the mail!

you hang up the phone

CLOSE UP: Telephone. Phone rings. You look warily at it, then pick it up again.

YOU: Hello?

DEEP VOICE: Don’t do that again!

YOU: Who is this? Is this a prank?

DEEP VOICE: SILENCE, MORTAL! You will suffer tonight!

YOU: What are you talking about?

DEEP VOICE: You’re going to see that remake of the “okay” 1979 film When A Stranger Calls later tonight.

YOU: How did you know that?

DEEP VOICE: You will suffer! Suuuuffeeeeeeeer!

YOU: *sigh* Okay, I’ll bite…why will I suffer by watching this movie?

DEEP VOICE: What you are about to subject yourself to is ninety minutes of pointless, underdeveloped crap that’s mostly filler, in the “We don’t have a full-length screenplay, so let’s shamelessly stall as much as possible” way of things.

YOU: Oh, co’mon…it’s an hour and a half! It can’t be that bad…

DEEP VOICE: You’re wrong. It is that bad…and MORE! The first hour consists of a girl alone in a house, doing nothing much. She is wearing an orange shirt so bright that it will do irreparable damage an hour into the movie. You won’t really care about her character because she’s so underdeveloped. Then the pain…the pain…it truly begins!

YOU: Right. Melodramatic freak.

DEEP VOICE: You don’t get it, do you? The pain, it…it’s indescribable. The phone rings non-stop. Silly “BOO!” scares. The girl gets yawn-educing prank calls. She strolls around the house non-stop instead of figuring out how to work the television. Heed my words, hapless mortal- the evil of this redundancy will set within your veins and you will witness clock padding in a film like you never have before!

YOU: Uh-huh. Listen, I’ve seen bad movies before…


YOU: How do you do that?

DEEP VOICE: Do what?

YOU: Talk in all caps like that?

DEEP VOICE: SILENCE! Heed my warning! You are about to subject yourself to a movie that will set up red herrings, situations and side characters with possible potential, but do practically nothing with them! A film so full of plot holes that it will turn your feeble brain to Jello! A film that will take a scene of a girl walking down a darkly lit corridor and stretch it and stretch it and streeeetch it until you’ve attempted to slit your wrists with your empty bag of popcorn! And nothing hurts worse than a paper cut! Except maybe…THIS MOVIE!

YOU: Um, yeah…listen, I gotta…

DEEP VOICE: After the first hour of pointless time killing, some clichéd and underused stalk and slash scenes will unfold. You may think this is good, but you’re wrong! You will watch, and mourn all the exciting scenarios and potential this film could have had, yet blatantly ignored! And just when you think the hurting has stopped, the flick will end things in a way that you saw coming before the opening credits rolled! Do you understand what I’m saying? The last few minutes are so standard, so predictable, so clichéd, so cheap, that you will know them BEFORE THE MOVIE EVEN STARTS! Maybe even after the second or third preview.

YOU: Are you finished? Because I really need to get going, here…

DEEP VOICE: Fine! Brush off my admonishments like so much dandruff! But heed my final warning, mortal. The only twist that you will witness in When A Stranger Calls, the sole “surprise” that the film has in store for you…was already revealed in the trailer!

YOU: Wow…you are really a freak…


YOU: You’ve really got to teach me how to talk in all caps like that. Listen, it’s been fun, but really…I gotta get going or I’m going to miss the previews. Give me a call, we’ll hang out sometime.

DEEP VOICE: Crayons taste like purp…

CLOSE UP: Phone receiver being set on the cradle.

You shake your head, stand up and grab your coat.


…there. Not only did I just save you money, but I also entertained you by making this a movie script. Or something. Now you can send me the ten bucks you would have spent on that pointless exercise in Hollywood crapola…and here’s hoping Arrow In The Head doesn’t read this…and if he does, hey, it was an homage, dude…