When A Stranger Calls, the suspenseful horror film featuring a now legendary 20-minute opening, has been newly restored for a brand new UK Blu-ray arriving on December 17.
When A Stranger Calls, from director Fred Walton, will arrive on UK Blu-ray on December 17 boasting a fantastic newly restored print. Top 10 Films, having had the chance to sneak a peek at the new Blu-ray, can confirm the film has never looked better.
Variety called it an “unquestionably…scary film” that has a “fine cast, a rich and atmospheric score and astute direction” as well as “chills-a-plenty”. My own thoughts, having seen it for the first time in years courtesy of this wonderful Blu-ray presentation, is that Walton has concocted a thriller with horror elements which boasts an unrelenting atmosphere of grim, dark, dank oppressiveness.
It’s the unsettling tone that brings together an otherwise disjointed affair which is bookended by a couple of great sequences including the film’s much talked about opening where a babysitter is stalked by an unknown phone caller. The line – “Have you checked the children” – is oft-quoted amongst horror fans recalling its particularly shocking first act.
The film’s slow pace heightens its sense of dread while the performances of its principle cast including Carol Kane, Charles Dunning and Tony Beckley add gravitas to proceedings. Based on Walton’s short film (which When A Stranger Calls’ opening is structured around), his feature length version does, at times, feel like a good idea has been stretched too far but it’s book-ended by two excellent sequences that more than make up for its pedestrian, bloated middle.
But the way it inspired the slasher genre demands that it should be seen by fans of the genre. Wes Craven’s Scream featured an opening that was clearly a homage to When A Stranger Calls while the foreboding presence of a killer without a conscience helped shape countless horror movies during the 1980s.
Now this genre-defining film gets the high def treatment as a two Blu-ray disc / one CD set in stunning collector’s packaging alongside its sequel, When A Stranger Calls Back. The Limited Edition presentation features a brand-new scan and restoration of the original film; the sequel When a Stranger Calls Back in HD; the original, rarely seen, short film The Sitter; brand new interviews; a 40-page perfect bound booklet; original soundtrack CD; reversible poster featuring new and original artwork; and reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork.
When A Stranger Calls / When A Stranger Calls Back comes to Blu-ray in the UK on December 17.