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When a Stranger Calls (2006)

1013 votes, average 5.8 out of 10

Far away from the site of a gruesome murder, a teenager named Jill Johnson arrives at a luxurious home for a baby-sitting job. With the children fast asleep, she settles in for what she expects to be an ordinary evening. Soon, the ringing of a phone and the frightening words of a sadistic caller turn Jill’s routine experience into a night of terror.

Movie Review: When a Stranger Calls (2006) – A Tense Psychological Thriller


When a Stranger Calls,” directed by Simon West, is a 2006 psychological thriller that reimagines the classic 1979 horror film of the same name. Starring Camilla Belle, this film ramps up the tension and suspense, providing a modern take on the iconic urban legend. In this review, we explore the chilling elements of “When a Stranger Calls” and provide details on where you can stream it in the United States.

Plot Overview

The film follows Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle), a high school student who takes on a babysitting job in a secluded, upscale home. What starts as a routine night quickly turns into a nightmare when Jill begins receiving a series of eerie, anonymous phone calls. The caller’s sinister message, “Have you checked the children?” escalates her fear. Isolated and unable to reach the parents or the police for immediate help, Jill’s terror mounts as she discovers that the calls are coming from inside the house. As the night progresses, she must summon all her courage to protect herself and the children from the lurking threat.

Visuals and Cinematography

Simon West’s direction effectively uses the film’s setting to build suspense. The sprawling, isolated house becomes a character in itself, with its shadowy corners and expansive, empty spaces amplifying the sense of vulnerability and fear. Cinematographer Peter Menzies Jr. employs tight framing and low lighting to create a claustrophobic atmosphere, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.


Camilla Belle delivers a strong performance as Jill Johnson, capturing the character’s gradual transition from annoyance to sheer terror. Her portrayal of a babysitter trapped in a horrifying situation is both believable and engaging, making the audience empathize with her plight. Supporting performances by Tommy Flanagan as the menacing stranger and Tessa Thompson as Jill’s friend, Scarlet, add depth to the film’s tension and drama.

Themes and Interpretation

“When a Stranger Calls” explores themes of isolation, fear, and the vulnerability of those who care for others. The film delves into the primal fear of being watched and stalked, particularly when one is supposed to be in a safe environment. It also highlights the psychological impact of fear and the lengths one will go to survive a terrifying ordeal. The movie plays on the classic urban legend, reminding viewers of the timeless nature of certain fears.

Streaming Availability in the U.S.

As of 2024, “When a Stranger Calls” is available for streaming on several platforms in the United States. You can watch “When a Stranger Calls” on:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Hulu

For those who prefer renting or purchasing, the film can be found on:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Apple iTunes
  • Google Play Movies
  • YouTube
  • Vudu


“When a Stranger Calls” is a suspenseful and nerve-wracking psychological thriller that effectively modernizes a classic horror tale. With Camilla Belle’s compelling performance and Simon West’s tension-filled direction, the film offers a chilling and engaging experience. Whether you’re streaming it for the first time or revisiting its haunting narrative, “When a Stranger Calls” delivers a taut and thrilling cinematic journey into fear and survival.

Posted on:
Tagline:Whatever You Do, Don’t Answer The Phone.
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Duration: 87 Min
Budget:$ 15.000.000,00
Revenue:$ 67.062.123,00

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