When a Stranger Calls Back isn’t as good as the original, at least from my memory, but does contain a few genuinely thrilling scenes starting out with the first 20-mintes which was well shot and acted.
When a Stranger Calls Back
Shout Factory | R – 94 min. – $26.99 | May 28, 2019
Date Published: 05/27/2019 | Author: The Movieman
Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 3.0/5
Plot Synopsis: Five years after her own terrifying baby-sitting ordeal, Julia Jenz (JILL SCHOELEN) is trying to put her life together when the past comes back to haunt her. Someone is breaking into her apartment, moving objects around and toying with her. The police think she’s just a hysterical coed, but student advisor Jill Johnson (CAROL KANE), similarly victimized thirteen years earlier, is determined to nail Julia’s stalker. Retired detective John Clifford (CHARLES DURNING), who saved Jill’s life before, must find and outwit the culprit before it’s too late.
Quick Hit Review: This sequel to the hit When a Stranger Calls was released, well aired, 14 years after the first film on Showtime after being bought by Universal. I remember being entertained by it though don’t remember a whole lot plot wise save for bits and pieces. In any case, When a Stranger Calls Back has its moments beginning with a well shot opening sequence that lasted 20-minutes, after that, the suspense wasn’t quite there though the three leads — Carol Kane, Jull Schoelen and Charles Durning — all gave respectable performances. The biggest standout is the finale and just how the stalker/killer is able go after our heroines, that said, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on the timing and intricacies of his plans.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
The Sitter Short Film (21:22) – Original short directed by Fred Walton that was the inspiration for the first 20-minutes of When a Stranger Calls Back.
TV Spot (1:09)
VIDEO – 4.0/5
|Shout Factory releases When a Stranger Calls Back onto Blu-ray with the choice of either a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio or the original 1.33 full frame, needless to say I did choose the latter since that’s how the movie aired on Showtime back in ’93 and from what I can tell, the widescreen version does crop the top and bottom of the frame so you are losing information. In any case, this is a new 2K scan taken from the original film elements, there were no noticeable instances of artifacts, aliasing, dust marks or scratches and detail was relatively sharp while colors tended to shine without appearing bolstered.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
|The disc includes an adequate DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track where dialogue came through clear enough though you can certainly hear some noise pop in. There’s really not much depth to judge as the film thankfully avoids doing the zingers that permeates most horror-thrillers nowadays (or going back a decade).
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, When a Stranger Calls Back isn’t as good as the original, at least from my memory, but does contain a few genuinely thrilling scenes starting out with the first 20-mintes which was well shot and acted. This Blu-ray release from Shout Factory has some decent features while the video and audio transfers were respectable enough.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.