When A Stranger Calls (2006)
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +1/2

Cast: Camilla Belle, Brian Geraghty, Katie Cassidy, Clark Gregg. Horror/thriller. Written by Jake Wade Wall. Directed by Simon West.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Remake of the spooky 1979 thriller has a series of alarming phone calls leading to a nightmarish situation for the pretty babysitter. This kids not just being stalked; the boogeymans already in the house!

PREVIE REVIEW: I always believed that the most dangerous professions were those of the soldier, the policeman and the fire-fighter. Until now, I had no concept of what the teenage babysitter must contend with. She comes into the home of complete strangers, armed with only a geometry book and a girly pen. Then she is introduced to her moppet charges who, despite angelic expressions, view her as fresh meat. For the sitter, hence known as victim, there is nowhere for the evening to go, but down. Surely that alone qualifies hers as the most challenging of occupations. Add to that the possibility that there is a homicidal maniac lurking within the house shes been hired to protect and serve, and wow, the schoolgirl victim should be decorated for bravery. Yet, she only gets $8.50 an hour!

Director Simon West does a credible job with this remake, but the well-worn chiller babysitter-in-peril genre has been copied more times than the Dracula legend. Whats more, its been spoofed more times than Jamie Lee Curtis. That said, the film, though laden with tired old false frights like the cat that jumps out of the shadows and other jolting moments caused by harmless things is tense and silly fun for those who like to get spooked. Camilla Belle is cute and believable as the frightened victim.

Note to teenage babysitters: Dont let adults take advantage of you. Charge double the amount for every kid in your care. Then double it again if the home is in a remote setting where homicidal maniacs are known to frequent.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Screen Gems

Crude Language: none
Obscene Language: 5 objectionable words
Profanity: I caught no misuse of God's name
Violence: nutcase murders people so he can wear their blood; we learn of several murders; said nutcase gets stuck with a fire poker
Sexual Intercourse: none
Nudity: none
Homosexual Conduct: none
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: none
Drug Abuse: teen friend to the lead wants a drink, but the responsible babysitter wont allow it.
Other: some teen angst, but shes a good kid, responsible and protective of her charges despite her own peril.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: those looking for an excuse to put an arm around a date

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