When a Stranger Calls (1979)

Whenastrangercallsoriginal.jpgEveryone knows the sound of a ringing phone. That loud noise that goes off when ever someone is calling you using a telephone to talk. On March 10, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call ever by saying, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” This first phone call would lead to a technological achievement. When a Stranger Calls has one of the most iconic phone calls of all time. This horror movie uses the power of the telephone in a way that would not be forgotten.

Jill Johnson is your average teenage babysitter. She takes on a babysitting job for the wealthy Dr. Mandrakis. When she arrives, she is told that the children are sleeping. After talking to a friend she receives a phone call from a man asking her if she has checked the children. Brushing it off as a prank, the man calls again and again. Eventually, Jill calls the police. In a terrifying twist, Jill learns the call is coming from inside the house. On what was supposed to be an easy babysitting job becomes a terrifying nightmare that will haunt Jill and Officer John Clifford. We learn that the children had been murdered in their bed. The man who murdered them is a man named Curt Duncan who is subsequently sent to an asylum.

Flash forward to seven years later where Curt Duncan has escaped. Dr. Mandrakis contacts John Clifford in hopes to bring him to back to where he belongs. John, who has left the police force, contacts many of his old colleagues and follows many leads to Duncan. As Clifford follows his leads we meet a happier Jill who is married with two children of her own. After leaving a babysitter with her two children so she and her husband can celebrate his promotion Duncan starts to make his way towards Jill’s family. While Jill is out at dinner with her husband she gets the phone call from Duncan asking her if she has checked her children. Terrified for the babysitter and her two children’s lives she and her husband call their house immediately. The babysitter answers, but the line goes dead. Jill and her husband hurry, with a police escort, home to find the kids and babysitter are okay. As the night goes on Jill still can’t shake the phone call she had received earlier from dinner. Jill goes downstairs to make a phone call only to learn the line has been disconnected and when she checks on her children she sees that her son has a piece of candy. When she returns to her bedroom she hears the voice that has haunted her for the past seven years in the corner. When she goes to wake her husband up, she see it is Curt Duncan who is right beside her. What will happen to Jill now?

The telephone is an invention that made it’s place in horror cinema in 1979 in When A Stranger Calls. Based on the urban legend of the babysitter and the stranger up the stairs, this movie still gives scares people out of babysitting. On March 10, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell was able to perfect the invention of the telephone that many people around the world use today. Whether the telephone be used for prank calls or looking for help, this invention is a household must have.


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