When A Stranger Calls details
|Starring:||Colleen Dewhurst, Rachel Roberts, Charles Durning, Carol Kane, Ron O'Neal|
|Studio:||LIGHTHOUSE DVD DISTRIBUTION|
When A Stranger Calls
|Run time:||1 hour 35 minutes|
|Rental release:||Limited availability|
Most helpful review
For Christ sake just check the children!By Clucky from Cardiff, Wales , 11 May 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]The opening sequence of a young woman alone at home being harassed by a sinister telephone caller will probably be associated by most movie goers with the 90?s film Scream but that scene was inspired by the beginning of the above title.
However, the opening is probably the only memorable part of the film, which lags somewhat in the middle and suffers visually from a very poor film stock. That said it does pick up in the last 10 minutes or so and will probably serve has a passable film for fans of 70s Horror. 3 out of 5.
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Good 1970s thrillerBy a customer from London , 20 Nov 2008The 2006 remake took the opening scenes of this original and stretched them out beyond breaking point to create a less than convincing horror film, made even more pointless because Wes Craven had already paid homage to those opening scenes in his 1996 film Scream. The original is not a horror film; it is a low-key thriller, much of it filmed at night in semi-darkness, occupying the underbelly of an American urban landscape.
The story moves along at a much slower pace than is common now, very typical of 1970s American cinema. It has an almost melancholy feel, and the portrayal of the psychotic Curt Duncan is interesting, because it humanises him. Tony Beckley is very effective in this role, in what proved to be his last acting performance before his death at the age of 52. The ever-reliable Charles Durning is also worthy of note.
When A Stranger Calls is not a classic, but it is a very good film and it puts the remake to shame.
Some great momentsBy a customer from Cardiff , 10 Jul 2008This film starts really well and has a cracking conclusion. It's a real shame the filmmakers have no clue what to do in the middle, where the action visibly sags. The central bad guy is also pretty lame, he's supposet to be an insane serial killer but comes across as a pathetic loser in places.
Basically if you're a fan of slasher films I'd take a look at 'When a Stranger Calls' as later films of this type certainly borrow from it.
Customer ReviewBy a customer from UK , 23 Jun 2008Extemely creepy film, I found myself getting quite nervy every time the phone rang...in your head you're saying 'Don't answer it, don't answer it' but like all good horror movies she does! Dark and atmospheric. Great if you want a night in with a few glasses of wine and a good vintage horror! Lock the windows and turn off the lights and enjoy.
Customer ReviewBy a customer from UK , 23 Jun 2008Warning - plot spoilers ahead.
The first 20 minutes of When a Stranger Calls are excellent. Really quite tense and frightening. I was quite surprised at this, due to its age. It's very similar to Black Christmas which kind of detracts from it a little bit, but it's done so well it shouldn't put you off too much.
Equally, the final 15 minutes or so, when the killer returns to stalk the girl from the beginning of the film is also tense and exciting.
It's the middle bit that stands out for me, as a bit of a let down. This is the bulk of the film but it is badly written and acted. After seeing what the killer did to the 2 kids in the beginning of the film, the detective leaves the force and vows to get revenge on the killer. This seems an odd thing to do. Had it been a family member who vowed to seek the killer out & take revenge, or had the detective had previous run-ins with the killer it would have made more sense.
Then for the majority of the film we have to endure watching the killer do not very much around the city. Although we follow him for all this time, the film doesn't bother to delve in to his character. He just does boring things like go to bars and things. It is unfortunate that the film takes this angle, as the scariest bad guys are the ones that are masked or hiding in darkness. When they are dealt with in such a matter of fact way they become ordinary, boring. He doesn't even kill any one else for the rest of the film which I also found a bit odd.
One thing I do like about both this & Black Christmas is that the motives of the killers are not explained, and neither is their choice of victim, so we don't get some weak , contrived background story as to the why's and what not's like we do in many more modern films.
The DVD overall isn't great. There are no extras and the image quality is not very good. Many scenes are too dark and it's kind of like the image quality of an old VHS.
I'm giving it 3 stars, for the beginning & the end. Shame about the middle.
Caution!By a customer from London , 20 Jan 2008If you are in the mood for an undemanding escapist horror film this is not it. This is more of a study of a mentally ill character than a straightforward slasher movie.
'When a stranger calls' has many similarities with Halloween but the viewer gets to know the killer as a person here & you almost have sympathy for him.
It is certainly well made and the two male leads are very good in their roles. However it is extremely bleak and quite depressing.