Parents' Guide to

When a Stranger Calls (2006)

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Pointless remake brings nothing new to the story.

Movie PG-13 2006 83 minutes
When a Stranger Calls (2006) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 8+

Perfect NO GORE /NO SEX first thriller for tweens

Rated high not because of story, but because no gore, just two dead bodies at the end. No foul language. No sex whatsoever, not even kissing. No references to non biblical lifestyles. The babysitter wears a short skirt to school-her friend talks about “drinking” which the babysitter sets good boundaries on…. that’s it! My kid wanted a scary movie- When a Stranger Calls is one of the few clean ones out there. The other I’d suggest is The Lady In The Water (which carries positive messages).
age 10+

some scares but thats all

my 9 and 11 year old watched this it made them jump a little but they were both fine.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (41 ):

This movie is disconnected and clichéd. Using familiar camera tricks and scary shadows, When a Stranger Calls puts well-adjusted high school track team member and babysitter Jill in an isolated house, then assaults her with howling wind, an intermittently working alarm system, heavy-breathing phone calls, and a black cat jumping out of corners. Some 83 minutes after its start, the film ends, with no point or development in evidence.

The stranger's eventual appearance doesn't even offer further insight into Jill or the film's point. An implacable and big-eared silhouette, he pursues his victims until he doesn't. The film climaxes a couple of times, including a nightmare sequence that seems designed to challenge Jill's sanity. But like most everything in When a Stranger Calls, this challenge is unsupported by anything else.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 3, 2006
  • On DVD or streaming: May 16, 2006
  • Cast: Camilla Belle , Katie Cassidy , Tommy Flanagan
  • Director: Simon West
  • Inclusion Information: Latino actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Screen Gems
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 83 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: intense terror, violence and some language.
  • Last updated: December 21, 2022

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