Friday, August 19, 2011

When a Stranger Calls

Year: 2006
Director: Simon West
Writer: Jake Wade Wall
Genre: Horror: Thriller

First off, let me just announce that I've decided to watch some remakes. I've avoided many of them because my memories and enjoyment of the old films eels like it will be hurt by viewing a remade version. Either way, here's the movie that kicked off my remake adventure.

When a Stranger Calls first came out in 1979 and quickly became famous for the unexpected location of the murderer. It was a film that followed the story of a young woman who was simply trying to babysit some children but had a lot more in store for her. The film has some famous lines such as "have you checked the children?" and "it's coming from inside the house!".

Thankfully, the idea and even these classic lines are still present in the remake. In fact, it surprised me how faithful the remake was to the original's theme, if not everything else. The theme was left untouched even with the various updates to the world.

What really surprised me about this remake was that it didn't fall into the trap that so many horror remakes do. It didn't attempt to amp up violence or make everything suddenly more sexual. In fact, there is only verbal discussion of anything sexual at any point. No girl ever gets her shirt torn off and doesn't have outrageously large breasts. Our heroine looks pretty, but a normal pretty - not Hollywood manufactured. She wins extra points for wearing an outfit that seems normal for a babysitter and not something super low cut to show herself off (to who? Certainly not the children!). I'm really pleased with these choices and wish that more remakes could learn from this example.

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