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SPHE Press Release: When A Stranger Calls

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    CAMILLA BELLE STARS IN THE CHILLING REMAKE OF A CLASSIC THRILLER

    WHEN A STRANGER CALLS

    Available on DVD and for PSP May 16

    Culver City, Calif. (March 27, 2006) – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will explore every babysitter’s worst nightmare with the release of When a Stranger Calls on DVD and for PSP™ May 16. Camilla Belle (The Ballad of Jack and Rose, The Lost World: Jurassic Park) stars as a high school babysitter terrorized by ominous phone calls in this remake of Fred Walton’s 1979 classic fright film. Directed by Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Con Air), the suspenseful thriller also stars Brian Geraghty (Jarhead), Tommy Flanagan (Gladiator, Sin City, Braveheart) and David Denman (Big Fish, The Replacements, TV’s “The Office”) and will be available on DVD and for PSP for an SRP of $28.95.

    When a Stranger Calls was an immediate hit, securing the number one spot on opening weekend and delivering close to $50 million at the box office. Produced by John Davis (Flight of the Phoenix, Alien vs. Predator), Ken Lemberger (upcoming All the King's Men), Wyck Godfrey (Behind Enemy Lines) and executive produced by Paddy Cullen (True Lies, My Best Friend’s Wedding), When a Stranger Calls is a must-have DVD for horror fans and is loaded with heart-pounding extras including deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and commentary from Director Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and actress Camilla Belle.

    Synopsis:

    When a Stranger Calls takes place a hundred miles away from the scene of a murder in small town America where high school student Jill Johnson (Belle) settles in for a routine night of babysitting. With the children asleep and a beautiful home to explore, she locks the door and sets the alarm. But when a series of eerie phone calls from a stranger (Flanagan) insisting she “check the children” turns the perfect babysitting job into a 16-year-old’s worst nightmare, Jill begins to panic. Fear escalates to terror when she has the calls traced and learns the calls are coming from inside the house.


    DVD BONUS Features Include

    · Deleted Scenes
    · Behind-the-scenes featurette
    · Director and cast commentary
    · Writers commentary


    When a Stranger Calls will be available in widescreen presentation and has a run time of 87 minutes. The film is rated PG-13 for intense terror, violence and some language. Artwork is available at www.SPHEPublicity.com. Visit Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on the Web at www.SonyPictures.com.


    DVD Catalog #: 14510
    UMD Catalog #: 14513

    DVD UPC Code: 043396145108
    UMD UPC Code: 043396145139

    DVD Order Date: 4/13/06
    UMD Order Date: 4/13/06

    DVD SRP: $28.95
    UMD SRP: $28.95
     
  2. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    I caught this with my girlfriend on Valentine's Day. For the most part, I really enjoyed it. Definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. I was really disappointed with the ending though. Not having seen the original, I'm unsure if the endings are identical, but I felt there were too many open ends with this. We ended up leaving the theater with too many unanswered questions. Despite the ending, we really did enjoy this overall.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    No, because the remake extends the original's opening sequence into the entire movie. Considering the only good thing about the original is the opening, I think that was a good call. [​IMG]
     
  4. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    What, no "unrated" version "with footage I couldn't see in theatres"? [​IMG]
     
  5. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    The 1979 original is very good. I watched it again yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Tony Beckley delivered a solid performance as Curt Duncan, the psychotic killer. It's a damn shame he died (from cancer) just six months after the film hit theaters. FYI, it was shot in the summer of 1978, released in theaters in October 1979, and Beckley died in April 1980. The opening scene is chilling. Those phone calls were delivered perfectly, something the 2006 edition failed to do. The most terrifying were "Why haven't you checked the children?" and "Your blood....All over me!"

    When I first saw the film several years ago I didn't like the middle portion. I found it to be slow and boring, but over time I've learned to appreciate the side story of Duncan on the run from John Clifford. And of course, the closing picks up in full suspense mode again and is almost as good as the opening. Great film.

    The 1993 TV sequel, When A Stranger Calls Back, is also excellent and features another terrifying opening and suspense throughout. Plus, Charles Durning and Carol Kane both return.

    The 2006 film is fun, but it doesn't match the previous two. Still, it has its moments and the girls are hot, so I'll buy the DVD.
     
  6. RoyM

    RoyM Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with you, Scott. The 1979 version is a darn fine horror flick, with a great (and surprisingly sympathetic) performance by Tony Beckley. A lot of people complain about the middle third of the film, but I always appreciated that part of the film fleshed out Beckley's character as a real person, rather than just another faceless "bogeyman" psychopath. The film also has terrific performances from Charles Durning, Colleen Dewhurst, and Carol Kane. It's not often you'll find as good a set of actors in this kind of movie.

    The original is definitely one of the underrated classics of that era of studio horror films. And the finale, with Beckley's character hiding and whispering "You can't see me" is great, edge of your seat stuff.

    Haven't seen the remake, but I can only imagine that it doesn't do the original any kind of justice.
     
  7. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Roy. My sentiments exactly. It's funny. With most horror films I think it's better to keep the killer hidden away in the shadows, very rarely, or never, showing his face, (1974's Black Christmas, for example) but 1979's When A Stranger Calls is a perfect exception to that rule. Tony Beckley's performance made Curt Duncan seem more realistic by portraying him in a helpless and sympathetic light in addition to a psychotic murderer. I love the closing shot of the picture with Duncan's eyes superimposed above the house. Very chilling. (You might need to adjust the brightness of your monitor.)

    [​IMG]

    No, the remake doesn't do justice to the original. It copies some elements, but it isn't anywhere near as effective as Fred Walton's 1979 film. It's fun in its own way, but it doesn't match the original.
     

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