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Designed to capitalize on the title and premise of the original but offers little to those who fondly remember it.
A modestly clever concept gets indifferent execution in When a Stranger Calls, another bigger-yet-blander remake of an allegedly "classic" '70s shocker.
After an hour of red herrings, in which Jill investigates creepy corridors or opens rattling closet doors with no results, the only real danger is that we'll become bored to death. For real thrills, rent the original, turn down the lights and scare yourself silly.
Ironically, for all of Stranger's faults, director Simon West has probably made a perfect date movie: just suspenseful enough to keep you arm-in-arm with your beau or belle; but silly enough that you'll both laugh about it afterwards.
Jake Wade Wall's screenplay does deserve a word of praise. It has managed to incorporate the advent of cellphones, the *69 command and caller ID, which could have easily made the entire story impossible.
The movie ends with a bizarre and unsatisfying denouement. The epilogue, which is designed either to set up a sequel or lampoon "Halloween 2," plays like a sour last note. I suppose someone thought it was clever, but it doesn't work.
Rather than remake the entire original movie, Simon West and screenwriter Jake Wade Wall have taken only that now-classic first act and padded it out into a dull, filler-filled feature that's remarkably void of any new ideas.
New York Post
Ineptly directed by Simon West, the scare-free When a Stranger Calls is the worst of the seminal horror movies from the late '70s and early '80s that have been getting the remake treatment lately.
Even the element of surprise isn't enough to save this film, which has too many slow parts and features an ending that's extremely tepid by 21st century horror movie standards.
Boston Globe
Even by the lowest standards, this is a frightless, cynically made movie.

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