When a Stranger Calls

  • Film
  • Thrillers
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An anonymous phonecaller urges the babysitter to check the children... Two competently handled sequences of protracted suspense, featuring the killer at large in a darkened house, bracket a less effectively realised murder hunt through the city streets. However, this stab at the soft underbelly of American middle class paranoia looks increasingly contrived once the film loses direction in the daylight outside, and a realism intrudes that the film-makers just don't know how to handle. Not as atmospherically eerie as Halloween nor as mechanically effective as Black Christmas, but there's one great moment when the husband in bed turns into a stranger. Kane is the babysitter (later wife and mother), Beckley the killer, and Durning the cop.

Release details

Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Fred Walton
Screenwriter: Steve Feke, Fred Walton
Cast: Charles Durning
Carol Kane
Colleen Dewhurst
Tony Beckley
Rachel Roberts
Ron O'Neal
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