The Toonzone "Film of the Month" (October 2013): "When a Stranger Calls (1979)"
"When a Stranger Calls"
"Every babysitters nightmare, becomes real"
Release Date: October 26, 1979
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Director: Fred Walton
Starring: Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Colleen Dewhurst
Welcome to this month's choice for our Film of the Month Club! You have the whole of the month to watch, or rewatch, the film and chime in with your comments on it.
If you need a way to view this film, I'd like to remind you that it is able to rent ion Netflix at your own will. If you don't have Netflix, you can buy the DVD or rent an instant stream from Amazon.
Feel free to start discussion on the film when you can!
Last edited by the greenman; 10-09-2013 at 04:58 AM.
Well, the horror genre is really split into two. One of them is the "Horror" film which revolves around the seemingly impossible usually supernatural, i.e. vampires, ghosts, and zombies. The other is the "Terror" film which will involve something that can happen, examples are now normally put into their own genre called "Psychological horror". These are films like "Silence of the Lambs" or "Psycho", and most of the slasher films. Unfortunately at some point, the villains in those films got ridiculously invincible to the point of being supernatural. Anyways, this film is in the teror genre of film, and it is also in the psychological horror sub-genre. It has the earmarks of the slasher film, except the body count is too short to be considered that.
When a Stranger Calls is much more about the villain to the point of psycho-analyzing him. In the 70's and some in the 80's there were a few like this like Maniac, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and others. This film is coming off the heels of Halloween and in the 70's there were alot of introspective films about characters. As mentioned, this is based on an old folk tale or urban legend of a babysitter terrorized. Kevin Williamson, acquired this brilliantly in the opening of his masterpiece "Scream". This film, gets looked over, because to horror fans it isn't scary enough, though the first half hour or so is excellent, then picks up again in the final act. Much like Halloween or Black Christmas before, this one uses too many attributes of those films in story, but not enough for those true horror- aficiandos to love this one. It is a classic for the above reasons, and Carol Kane is pretty decent in the role she plays.
I used to marathon horror films two a day in the month of October for years, and this one kinda cleans to palette before getting into something outrageous. Just to let you know, there was a sequel done for television years later, and of course a modern remake not too long ago. Be interesting to check that out in the cellphone age.