Two suspense-filled films based upon the popular urban legend of a frightened babysitter and the menacing telephone calls she receives while watching two sleeping children. This story has terrified people for years and was successfully brought to the big screen in 1979. A remake of this classic horror story was done in 2006 with a few modern changes, but not to the core elements of the story. Sit back and watch these thrillers, but don’t let that ringing phone distract you!
When A Stranger Calls
(1979) – Color – 97 minutes – Rated R
Starring: Charles Durning, Carol Kane, Colleen Dewhurst,Tony Beckley, Rachel Roberts, Ron O Neal

A terrified young baby-sitter…an incessantly ringing phone…and whispered threats set the stage for one of the most suspenseful thrillers ever filmed. Carol Kane stars as the baby-sitter who is tormented by a series of ominous phone calls until a compulsive cop (Charles Durning) is brought on the scene to apprehend the psychotic killer. Seven years later, however, the nightmare begins again when the madman returns to mercilessly haunt Kane, now a wife and mother. No longer a naive girl, though still terrified, but prepared, she moves boldly to thwart the maniac s attack in scenes that culminate in a nerve-shattering conclusion.
When A Stranger Calls
(2006) – Color – 87 minutes – PG-13
Starring: Camilla Belle, Brian Geraghty, Katie Cassidy

‘Have you checked the children?’

To Jill Johnson, 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.


“When A Stranger Calls” remains one of the classic horror movie plots. However, both movies haven’t aged well. I guess there’s something to the quirky nature of Charles Durning having to aid Carol Kane. But, Kane has always had one of those faces that makes her look a decade older than she is. It must be something to do with the eyes. If you’re a fan, I’d recommend picking it up.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is on par with the past DVD releases. The transfer isn’t amazing, but it works. The same goes for the Dolby audio track. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to the curious. But, I’d love to see SONY and Touchstone let Mill Creek do Blu-Ray releases for these sets. This is such a great concept not to be in HD.



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