15 September 2006 | claudio_carvalho
Weak Remake of a Scary Thriller Prefer the Original 1979 Version
Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle) is babysitting two children in a fancy isolated house, when a stranger insists calling her in the phone. She decides to telephone to the police, to trace the phone call. When the officer on duty tells her that the call is being made from inside the house, Jill freaks out and tries to leave the place with the children.
The beginning of the 1979 "When a Stranger Calls" is one of the scariest and most realistic thrillers I have ever seen. The story is excellent, and the performances are stunning. In my opinion, the famous 'Scream' ripped-off the introduction of this film. This 2006 remake is watchable, but director Simon West spoiled an excellent story with a typical Saturday night broadcast predicable movie. The secret of the original film was the claustrophobic environment associated to a realistic plot. The option of this director was to use a huge house, with people coming and going (or vanishing), breaking the tension. Camilla Belle has a pretty face but she is very weak in this dramatic role. Further, her character has the most unreasonable attitudes, for example leaving a house protected by a security system to move to the guest house, or calling the hidden children to escape with her. My advice: see Carol Kane in the original version. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Quando um Estranho Chama" ("When a Stranger Calls")