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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Storyline holds for film

By Randalynne Dorsey/entertainment editor

   For 16-year-old Jill Johnson, life isn’t going too well.
   She caught her boyfriend kissing her best friend, her parents have grounded her for a month, and she has to baby-sit the night of a huge party at school.
   And so begins the story of When A Stranger Calls, a remake of the 1979 horror film.
   The film was written by Jake Wade Hall, who also wrote the script for Halloween, and is directed by Simon West, who directed Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
   Jill isn’t too happy baby-sitting on the night of her school’s bonfire—a party that promises to be the best of the year.
   When she arrives at the home of the Mandrakis family, she’s left with two sleeping children and a beautiful, but isolated, home to explore.
   The Mandrakises set the home’s alarm before they leave, so Jill is safe, or so she thinks.
   She begins to get strange phone calls from a prank caller.
   Sometimes the caller does not say anything at all.
   But Jill begins to get worried when the caller asks, “Have you checked the children?”
   Jill calls the police, who discover the phone calls are coming from inside the house.
   Despite the premise, this movie has a lot of good things going for it.
   The storyline is good, if not a bit overdone.
   The movie is suspenseful and keeps you guessing—all good things for a decent horror movie.
   Like many horror movies of our time, however, the film follows a formula: stick a pretty girl in the middle of nowhere and watch the drama unfold.
   This is the same formula House of Wax and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and other horror films have followed.
   I’m also not a huge fan of remakes.
   That being said, this is one of the best remakes I’ve seen in a while.
   The movie brings up several questions, though.
   Why does the film begin with scenes of a gruesome murder that’s taken place a hundred miles from where Jill Johnson is baby-sitting?
   Who is the stranger?
   Why is the stranger after Jill?
   Other than that, the movie is decent. I’m not sure if I’d advise going to the theater to see it.
I recommend you wait until it hits Blockbuster and rent it.
   Be sure to unhook the phone when you do.

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