When A Stranger Calls

Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Brian Geraghty

Directed by Simon West

Rated PG-13

In this remake of a 1979 film, the first 20 minutes of the original are stretched into a full-length feature film.

Thus, one of the most intense opening sequences in cinematic history is watered down to the point of limpness. Simply put, this film is as ferocious and explosive as a three-toed sloth.

When dealing with the extreme disappointment you feel after spending so much money to be bored by this film, consider the fact that this is a “horror” movie with a PG-13 rating. If you want to see a horror movie, consider this: for less than the price of a large soft drink at a theater, you can rent a film that will satisfy your entertainment needs, and, for less than the cost of two tickets, you can order a pizza delivered to your door.

West (Tomb Raider, Con Air) employs the oldest tricks in the scare book. Right down to the typical thrill scene where the frightened main character (Belle) detects motion in an empty room of a dark house. The suspense builds as she creeps toward the room to investigate the noises and just when you think the boogey man is going to leap out and bite her nose, the friendly house cat comes scampering out. This movie employs many of these overused techniques.

Although this film could be the name maker for Belle, she will have to work a lot harder to prove a good actress is attached to that name. It is uncertain whether the unbelievable reactions are her fault or the fault of the director, however, they share the blame in killing anything entertaining about this film.


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