Genres / Traits:
Psychological Thriller, Slasher Film, Thriller,
Far away from the site of a gruesome murder, a teenager named Jill Johnson arrives at a luxurious home for a baby-sitting job. With the children fast asleep, she settles in for what she expects to be an ordinary evening. Soon, the ringing of a phone and the frightening words of a sadistic caller turn Jill's routine experience into a night of terror.
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To call "When A Stranger Calls" the worst film of the year is an understatement -- it is just not negative enough. To call "When A Stranger Calls" one of the worst horror films of all-time is an understatement also -- it doesn't capture the wretchedness of this motion picture. Therefore, I call "When A Stranger Calls" one of the worst films of all-time, in any genre. This was the most cliched and drawn out and boring and redundant and pathetic attempt at cinema I have seen in a long, long time, and I have seen a lot of cinematic shit in my movie going lifetime, believe me. "When A Stranger Calls" makes most of those disasters seem like "Gone With the Wind". If you are a periodical visitor to Movies Made Easy, you will remember that the original 1979 film "When A Stranger Calls" made the 'Classics' section a few months ago. That was an amazing film, one of the most taut and original thrillers ever made. This remake shits all over that film and the art of movie-making, in general.
Camilla Belle stars as Jill Johnson, a young high school girl who is grounded by her parents because she went over his cell phone minutes. Thus, she cannot attend the big school bonfire and is forced to babysit in order to earn back enough money to pay her parents back for that enormous phone bill. What Jill doesn't know is that a psychotic serial killer is going to be playing some pretty ridiculous mind games with her for the entire evening. That is all of the plot you need know. The two seemingly most important characters in the film are Rosa, the housekeeper who feeds the bird, and Chester the cat, who eventually ends up eating the birds. The house in the film is a large and unbelievably expensive mansion where the lights come on when you walk into the room and the San Diego Zoo in the living room receives occasional rain-forest showers. This gives us a perfect place for a young babysitter to slowly be lured into the cat and mouse game of a really lame serial killer who seems about as imposing as a two point increase on your cholesterol chart.
Director Simon West, whose previous efforts include "Con-Air" and "The General's Daughter", has done what most directors could never dream of doing -- he has come close to matching the career of Uwe Boll with but one film. "When A Stranger Calls" is all it takes. "House of the Dead" and "Alone In the Dark" are gems compared to this turd. This film stinks from top to bottom from the opening sequence to the final 'dream sequence' in the hospital. And, yes, I spoiled that little scene for you and I don't care. Guess what -- Jill makes it out alive too. And the bad guy doesn't die, thus setting up for a sequel that I hope Jesus Christ blanks out of existence. Oh, and THE CALLS ARE COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE! It is rare when I will intentionally spoil a film for a reader, but if you want to see this film, you deserve to have it spoiled before you make one of the biggest mistakes of your life. "When A Stranger Calls" will send you into therapy for years and years to come.
Plus, I would not be doing this film justice if I did not mention how amazingly dreadful the untalented and unbearable Camilla Belle was in her first lead role. She should be hocking tank tops at the Gap, not making movies. She has the personality of Laundry Mat. I never once cared if she lived or died. By the end, I was hoping the killer would just cut out her tongue and get the film over with, though I knew that would not happen because the film was rated PG-13. In fact, we only have a grand total of two corpses in this film and we don't see any of them die. THIS IS A HORROR FILM! Where is the blood? Where is the knife to the gut? Where is the 'anything' that would make me think this is something other than a comedy? "When A Stranger Calls" is worthless...absolutely worthless. I feel worthless for watching it. I feel like all the other people who were in the theatre with me are now worthless. Even reading my review of the film makes you worthless. It really was that bad.
-3/10 (Yes, I went negative).
- added 02/06/2006, 01:23 PM
I will never watch this movie. Ever. Even the
trailer made me disgusted to be a horror movie
fan. I predict this to be one of the worst movies
since House Of The Dead or Ghost Of Mars.
- added 02/06/2006, 01:49 PM
It actually gives the ending away in the trailer.
I always knew this would be a bad movie. I'm glad
bluemeanie could clear it up for me. Never EVER
gonna see this.
- added 05/20/2006, 03:59 PM
I agree with the review above, but there's
something that I felt should be pointed out. The
original movie started out with the above
synopsis, and it lasted for about fifteen minutes
before continuing onwards with the rest of the
storyline. Simon West decided to take that
fifteen minute scene and stretch it out into a
feature-length film, and it definitely shows.
When the movie wasn't dragging ass and boring me
to tears, it managed to pull out every horror
cliché in the book. The "cat scare" (you know
what I mean) is used not once but TWICE, and the
musical score should take top billing over Camilla
Belle since it was the main source of the thrills
The scares found here
are along the lines of having your kid brother
sneak up behind you and yell "BOO!" over and over
and over (and and and) for eighty minutes. It may
startle (not scare) you once or twice, but after
that, it just gets old. The original is a
classic, and this remake just pisses all over it.
- added 06/12/2007, 02:32 AM
I knew this movie was going to be bad but someone
else rented it and I just borrowed before it went
back. It was dredful. Weve all heard the urban
legend, I think it can be told (with suspense and
pacing) in about 7 minutes, this tried to make it
90. Thats 90 of the most boring ass minutes ever
put on film. I, of course, wasnt willing to sit
thru all that crap so I fast forwarded till
something good happened......and nothing good ever
happened. No gore, no horror, no suspense, no
- added 07/29/2007, 03:41 AM
When a remake of a horror-classic calls, give it
20 minutes... if it sucks, punch it in the throat
and leave. Man, this moviie was bullshit. Pure and