Jake Wade Hall
Camilla Belle as Jill Johnson
Brian Geraghty as Bobby
Katie Cassidy as Tiffany Madison
Clark Gregg as Ben Johnson
Tommy Flannigan as The Stranger
Lance Henrikson as The Stranger (voice)
Budget $15M Box Office $66.9M
IMDb 5.1/10 Rotten Tomatoes 9% Metacritic 27/100
This is a story about a teenager Jill, that, instead of getting to go out and have fun with her friends, is forced to go babysit at someone else’s house, The Mandrakis’, as part of a punishment. Another part of her punishment is that her parents took away her cell phone. (That wouldn’t bother ME but, apparently to younger folks nowadays, that’s like taking away oxygen.)
Once Jill arrives at the Mandrakis residence the parents quickly show her about the house, show her the kids in their room asleep, inform her the live-in maid is there, give her the phone numbers of where they will be and say they will be home around midnight as they hurry out the door.
Now, the rest of her friends are at some big bonfire party and poor Jill is stuck watching two kids who spend the whole evening that she’s at their house in bed asleep. Talk about boring, the kids aren’t even awake to play games with or watch movies with, nothing.
Soon, Jill starts receiving creepy taunting phone calls from a stranger to the Mandrakis’ house phone. The calls become increasingly terrifying and Jill gets more scared with every ring. The caller taunts her in a gravelly whisper, describing the horrors he wants to subject her to. He also suggests to her she check on the children. He says others things to make Jill nervous and feel uneasy. She does call the police and they try to help her but it’s slow going. It’s only a matter of time before Jill comes face to face with her tormentor. Then, it’s a battle of wills.
This is a remake of the 1979 film of the same name. While I haven’t seen the original, I HAVE seen the sequel to the original and THAT was good. I can’t, for the life of me, see how this movie made so much upon release. It was more of a drama to me than a suspense or thriller movie. Yes, there was a suspense and psychological thriller element BUT, they could have done SO MUCH MORE with it. It’s almost as if they purposefully underplayed it. And IF they WERE trying to slow play the suspense, they needed to do more to make it more intense. It felt flat and listless at many points in the film. I expected terror and the ongoing mental torture of a babysitter and this definitely was not that. Not by a long shot.
Although it was decent to watch and all that, it’s not a movie I plan on watching again any time soon. I wish it had more meat, more blood, more gore and more thrill. It needs more suspense and definitely more terror inducing scenes. I’m sorry to say this is one movie I’m feeling buyer’s remorse about.