"When a Stranger Calls" question?(SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by todd s, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I was bored and it was on. But, I missed the first half hour. I know when she was a teenager Carol Kane was the babysitter and the guy at the end came after her. But, can anyone tell me what happened in the beginning? I thought I remember reading that she see's the kids heads coming down the stairs or is that false?
     
  2. RobinO

    RobinO Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw the movie when it was in the theater and I don't remember seeing any kids head rolling down the stairs. The first half hour was Carol Kane babysitting with the kids upstairs alseep. She started getting phone calls from someone who said they could see what she was doing (I believe that that is what they told her.) She finally called the police and they traced the phone calls to the upstairs bedroom. The guy was up there and had killed the children she was babysitting. The police got there just in time.
    That opening sequence was the most terrifying 15-30 minutes I have spent in a theater and to this day I get paranoid when home alone that someone is upstairs.
    I might be wrong about a few details but that is how I remember the movie.
    Robin
     
  3. Pat Ashmore

    Pat Ashmore Extra

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    Hey, Todd, there's no reason to explain or be embarrassed over watching it. [​IMG]
    The babysitting scene was very effective, as I would bet few have seen it. Pretty good movie.
    I am 99% positive that no heads fell down the stairs.
    Actually, I don't remember ANY shots of the kids whatsoever.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see someone mention this movie.
     
  4. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    No embaressment. I have been wanting to see it. I have heard what Robin had said that the first 15-30 minutes are really good. I was bummed I missed it.
     
  5. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    I have never, ever understood the rep this movie got. It was, for a few minutes of my youth, THE horror movie to see.

    It was a blatent rip-off of Black Christmas, and a completely sub-par one at that. Even as a kid watching it in the theater it miffed me for that reason. (I remember the villain was a real let down too...unlike the Black Christmas mysterious villain whose phone calls are chilling to this day).

    I didn't get it then, don't get it now.
     
  6. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    lol, I don't get how you saw the last 2/3rds and liked it. for me, the movie sucked after the opening. It drags so much in the middle, and the end is only slightly redeeming. The sequel, made nearly 2 decades later is far more effective throughout, even the opening segment rivals the original.

    Watch it yourself. But what happens is she comes to babysit, and does the usual stuff, homework, tries a little drink from the bar, calls her girlfriend on the phone, raides the fridge, and then begins getting some weird phone calls "Have you checked on the children?" over and over... finally she gets chilled and calls the police, and is insisting he can see her from outside somewhere. they tell her to keep him on the line to trace the call (BTW, it's not completely a rip-off of BC, it's essentially just another form of the original urban legend that the story is based on, both of which use the technique. Scream used it again in 1996)

    They trace it and say it's coming from upstairs and to get out. She runs to the door, and upstairs she sees light shine, so the door to a room has just opened spilling the light onto the stairs. She rips open the door, but the chain lock she put up earlier is still on, (I loved this, because she locked herself into a bad situation... [​IMG] ) so she closes it and she's trying to get the chain off terrified, as a shadow appears on the stairs and footsteps start coming down. She rips open the door and a man is standing there, looking very eerie. The shot pans out and it's the cop that showed up, to track the killer.

    They later say the kids were so ripped up the coroner asked what the murder weapon was, our of curiosity... and they said there was none... just his bare hands. (very creepy line)

    The opening is very eerie, and as a short film would easily get **** from me. But the dull middle, and the passable ending really just bring it to a *** in my book. The sequel gets a *** but it's thoroughly enjoyable all throughout. I remember reading in Fangoria (an old issue) that a 3rd was planned, but we've never seen it.
     
  7. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Have any of you seen the remake? It's actually not all that bad, I rented it and watched it last night.

    I was surprised at the level of suspense and mood, very tightly directed by Simon West IMO and the whole thing added up to a satisfying 90 or so minutes.

    One thing's for damn sure, the actress that plays 'Jill' the babysitter, Camilla Belle, is out of this universe GORGEOUS!

    [​IMG]

    I can't believe it's the same little girl from the opening scene of The Lost World Jurassic Park.
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    It's a backhanded compliment but I think that the remake is better than the original but I think the original (except the opening) is dull as dishwater. They took the one good thing from the original and stretched it to feature length. There was definitely some stuff that was in there just to boost the run time to feature length (like the girl going to the guest house and the entire end sequence at the hospital) but overall I think it's better than the original.
     
  9. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I actually remember very little about the original, which I guess is an indication of how memorable it was. The remake, aside from that hospital scene, could have done without that I think, was very well done, though.

    Love that house! [​IMG]
     
  10. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yeah, all the windows in the house, the use of shadows from the wind blowing the trees and the sound effects were pretty effective.
     
  11. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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    Just saw the remake ... one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The original is NO classic, but I would rather watch that a billion times over than go through this again. The entire movie felt like I was transported back to 1996. If "Scream" was a rip-off of the original "When a Stranger Calls" then this remake was a rip-off of "Scream 3". No thrills, no scares, no surprises... completely boring. The reason the opening scene in the original is as scary as it is, is because other than the killer upstairs, she is ALONE. Not these throw-away characters showing up. They should have kept the isolated tone of the original. And as for the lead actress... very hot indeed... .... that's about it. Talking on the phone I guess is pretty tough for actors. Imagining somebody else is there on the other line. Let me put it this way... her acting was 20 times better when she was 10 in "The Lost World".

    Sorry for the rant. Just had to get that off my chest.
     
  12. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    The film got points from me for the photography, production design, lighting and direction, it was also pretty spooky, I thought anyway, what with all the shadows and dark hallways etc.

    Camilla Belle ([​IMG]) was effective enough for the requirments of her role, which was that of an ordinary teenage girl who finds herself in a scary situation with a lunatic.

    I've seen worse.
     
  13. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    The original had a GREAT opening (although a complete rip-off of Black Christmas) but after that goes nowhere IMHO.
    My sisters both babysat back then and "Have you checked, the children..." became a catchphrase and they and their friends would call each other and scare the bejesus out of each other saying that...
     

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