This spin on a popular urban legend became the film responsible for making a generation of teenagers afraid to answer the phone . . .
Student Jill Johnson (Carol Kane) is babysitting for an L.A. doctor and his wife when she becomes subjected to a night of terror by a mysterious and unseen man, who keeps telephoning, urging her to check that the children are alright.
Turns out he is in fact in the house all the time and is a deranged killer who has brutally murdered them.
While the mid-section of the film, which follows the villain and a cop’s (Charles Durning) attempts to track him down, doesn’t have the same raw terror as the opening and finale. this is still a brilliantly-made chiller that taps into a very primal fear.
A 1993 made-for-TV sequel (When A Stranger Calls Back) reunited the original director and cast. It’s a decent enough television thriller and passes the time better than it should because of the excellent cast.
Lt. Charlie Garber