When a Stranger Calls – Rating 2.5 out of 5

It’s the classic tale of an attractive teen that helps out a friend with an “easy babysitting job”. She is then tainted with bangs, crashes, shadowy figures, noises from all parts of the home and an endless series of phone calls where the unknown caller is ultimately in the same house.

When a Stranger Calls is a formulaic, by the numbers, uninspired teen horror movie that is ultimately pointless and disappointing. It’s painfully predictable with a whole slew of characters who could be the villain. We have the mysterious housekeeper, the son who might or might not be back from college, the obsessive boyfriend, the drunken friend, the children she is babysitting but that we don’t actually see, and even the parents themselves who become unavailable whenever she tries to call them. Even the police officer she tries to get help from seems less than excited to investigate.

There are lots of bumps in the night, plenty of dark scenes (curse those power outages that always happen in these kinds of movies) and plenty of weapons conveniently located around the house. There is plenty of suspicion building, but there is no doubt about what’s going to happen. The babysitter is tormented, runs through the house knocking things over in the dark and hurting herself, frantically tries to find the housekeeper and the son but to no avail. She must face the evil alone while trying to save the children.

Nothing new in this movie except a minor amount of excitement and suspense.

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