This week's Answer:
Short Long Film
Bob, I did
see the remake and understand what you’re referring to
when you described it.
This is a “scare them as you go” rendition. No frills, no character development, no deep plot or theme.
No anything except “teen in jeopardy and come
along for the ride.”
There were very few locations, the main one being
the secluded house near the forest.
It’s the kind of film designed to create the
necessary suspense to hold our attention until the very
end. If you
notice, it’s a sine wave of building tension followed by
quick drop-offs of false scares or plateaus of progressive
can visualize an uneven wave, more ascent than descent due
to the fact that this film focuses more on building
suspense than displaying climactic, terror-filled moments.
Just like a sine wave, a roller coaster takes us up
and down, attempting to give the feeling of being spun out
of control. The
reason it may not seem like a “full movie” to you is
that, even though the running time of When a Stranger
Calls is 123 minutes, it’s filled with somewhat
repetitious moments in the sense that there is so much of
the protagonist walking through the house and making and
receiving phone calls (a major activity of many cell-phone
users, many of whom are teens, whom, possibly, their
parents would wish would feel a little more
terror when it comes to the cell-phone bills that register
their over-the-limit minutes, thereby putting the teens'
parents mortgages in jeopardy -- which, come to think of
could make for an excellent thriller depicting mad, out of
control parents stalking their own cell-phone abusing
teens), which can create a time-shrinking illusion, and
because, once the killer is discovered to be a physical,
tangible threat to the protagonist, the rest of the film
plays out very quickly as the she fights to stay alive.
I thought of a title for the film:
A STRANGER (TEENS OFTEN SEEM LIKE STRANGERS TO THEIR
PARENTS) CALLS... ON A CELL