When a Stranger Calls

February 3rd, 2006


When a Stranger Calls

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When a Stranger CallsStill of Camilla Belle in When a Stranger CallsStill of Camilla Belle in When a Stranger CallsWhen a Stranger CallsStill of Camilla Belle in When a Stranger CallsStill of Camilla Belle in When a Stranger Calls

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

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 4.8/10 (20,816 voted)

Critic's Score: 27/100

Director: Simon West

Stars: Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy

Jill Johnson is being forced to babysit at a BIG house all by herself for exceeding her telephone minutes. Then all of a sudden a stranger calls making these weird remarks. Jill decides to call the police to trace the call. Jill is freaked out when she finds out that the call is coming from inside the house! Jill runs in a hurry trying to get the children and leave. Will Jill make it in the house in time? Will she live? Well you just have to watch the movie to find out!

Writers: Jake Wade Wall, Steve Feke

Camilla Belle - Jill Johnson
Tommy Flanagan - Stranger
Katie Cassidy - Tiffany
Tessa Thompson - Scarlet
Brian Geraghty - Bobby
Clark Gregg - Ben Johnson
Derek de Lint - Dr. Mandrakis
Kate Jennings Grant - Kelly Mandrakis
David Denman - Officer Burroughs
Arthur Young - Will Mandrakis
Madeline Carroll - Allison Mandrakis
Steve Eastin - Detective Hines
John Bobek - Officer Lewis
Brad Surosky - Boom Boom
Karina Logue - Track Coach

Taglines: Whatever You Do, Don't Answer The Phone.


Official Website: Gaumont Columbia Tristar [France] | Official site [Australia] |

Release Date: 3 February 2006

Filming Locations: Bellarmine-Jefferson High School, Burbank, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $21,607,203 (USA) (5 February 2006) (2999 Screens)

Gross: $66,966,987 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The voice of "Stacy", the unseen girl during the opening credit sequence, and victim of the killer that targets Jill, is that of director Simon West's 12 year old daughter Lilly.

Continuity: When Tiffany rang the Mandrakis' home phone, her name came up on the caller ID. But the Manrakis' don't know her, and therefore would not have her number in caller ID.

Jill Johnson: It's beautiful.

User Review

More Generic PG-13 Horror

Rating: 4/10

I'm starting to wonder if all these PG-13 horror movies are just glorified screen tests for young and emerging talent. Get a first-time screenwriter, an inexperienced director, a few TV actors looking for their bigscreen break and see what they can do. 'When a Stranger Calls' is a little better than most such recent offerings, but is still completely by-the-book; riddled with plot holes and genre clichés.

The story is unbelievably simplistic. The slim 87 minute running time is heavily padded with inconsequential friends and a pointless cheating boyfriend. The killer is devoid of even the token motivation of Jason or Michael or even the original movie's killer, and as a result is never particularly frightening. The police behave in such an unbelievably ineffectual and lazy manner as to verge on professional misconduct. Simon West brings the same attractive banality to proceedings that he managed with Lara Croft, but his style of directing is decidedly generic, possessing no indicators of real talent or vision. The performances are routine, dark hallways replace genuine horror, and the scares are of the tired cat-in-the-closet variety.

The cinematography and production design, however, are above average for this kind of film. The house is beautifully designed, all dark wood and glassy reflections, and there are a few moments that are of visual interest.

Though lacking an ounce of dramatic originality, it acts as a reasonably satisfying 'dark house' thriller, and maintains interest longer than most of its ilk.


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