When A Stranger Calls (1979) Review


Directed by Fred Walton

Starring Charles Durning and Carol Kane

Plot: Jill (Kane) is babysitting for a family. While she is alone, she receives frightening calls asking if ‘she has checked the children‘. The police arrive to find a disturbing scene. Both of the children that she has been babysitting have been killed. The killer is arrested and sent to a mental hospital.


Years later, the man escapes from the mental hospital. A private investigator (Durning) is hired to find the psycho before there’s a repeat of the shocking events. The psycho tries to pick a woman up at a bar, but ends with the psycho getting into a fight with a guy. The psycho stalks the woman. She is upfront and tells him to leave her alone.


The PI confronts the psycho, who escapes from him. The psycho returns to torment Jill, whom has her own family now. She is distraught to hear his voice again and rushes home to check her children, they are okay. Later that night, the psycho comes face to face with Jill.


Review: I thought the film had one of the best openings ever. It was genuinely frightening. Durning’s character is pretty likable. But, I found everything after the opening to be not as good. I’m not knocking the film, it’s pretty good.


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