When a Killer Calls (2006)

Directed by: Peter Mervis

Written by: Steve Bevilacqua & Peter Mervis


Rebekah Kochan .... Trisha
Robert Buckley .... Matt
Mark Irvingsen .... The Madman
Sarah Hall .... Chrissy
Derek Osedach .... Frank
Carissa Bodner .... Molly

Release Date:
Direct-to-DVD: February, 2006



There's a family killer on the loose and a new babysitter in the neighborhood named Trisha (Rebekah Kochan) is receiving threatening calls on her cell as well as receiving nasty text messages with gruesome photo's on the family he has killed. She also realised that she is being watched.


We spot a killer killing away a family in which alot of this was supposed to look intense and disturbing but due to the cheesy shots as well as the low budget it looked very corny by how it was done. This can seem disappointing as we'd expect something a little darker than what we hoped here. There are at times nice close up camera shots on the victims here. Also there's scenes with the killer washing his bloody knife which looked corny to spot all of this and done at a fast pace.
Then later on we see the babysitter Trisha getting ready to do her job with the similar one liners used in the remake of When a Stranger Calls in which this looked terribly rushed.
There's a situation when someone in the dark asks the parents who are driving along for help starting his car which is supposed to be a clue that he's the killer which this moment is supposed to make you cringe but this doesn't do the trick plus his killing on one of them looked way too obvious and phony looking too.
However there's some nice and interesting discussions when little Molly asks for some ice cream and being charming about it with Trisha giving in and saying only if she can have some too which looked nicely put into the story.
Yet there's many moments when she receives a prank phone call with a deep voice speaking to her which sounds very phony as well as the moments here supposed to look creepy which misses by a longshot. However there's cheesy thunder and lightning happening as this adds some fun touches.
We have a moment when Trisha is outside and a surprise moment with a neighbor making her jump in which this was supposed to be a jumping moment and fails big time along with cheesy discussions here too which tries way too hard to make this look well done and it doesn't at all.
There's even situations when Trisha still gets the prank calls on her cell and then the home phone rings in which can seem chilling since it's the same caller but then it goes back and fourth which loses the frightening moment here and becoming incredibly annoying. There are decent camera shots focusing on her which seems to look imoressive as to wonder of the killer will approach to get her or not. There's even a ripoff one liner from Scream when she warns the caller about her boyfriend or calling the police which doesn't look effective at all while watching this moment.
There's some good and mysterious moments when Trisha gets texted by this caller showing her snuff photographs on the family's that he's killed along with showing flashback sequences from the beginning of the film on his murders in which works in well this time around since the shots are brief compared to what we've fully seen with the phoniness in it all beforehand.
There's an impressive moment with someone knocking on a glass door asking to come in as the approach with this looked creepy but yet it seemed pretty obvious that this was her boyfriend Matt doing this.
However there's a nice discussion with Matt talking to Trisha about situations as well as the prank calls which worked in well and looked good and serious. There's a perfect and strong moment when he tells this caller off.
We spot a situation with the two friends Chrissy and Frank getting it on with one another in the recroom as this looked way too planned out and unnatural. Also you hope to spot the killer doing them in which is often a situation with two horny teenagers but yet it's a bit of a disappointment. However things do seem chilling when Frank hears something from behind a door and goes to check on what's going on as this seemed well shot. Also we spot him looking at a closet with coats wrapped in plastic bags as well as the killer wrapping his head in a plastic bag in which this looked too cheesy and not scary enough but fun to watch as we all know where they got this killing from which is no other than Black Christmas.
Also we spot Chrissy coming in to find out what had happened to him in which the killer does something brutal to her as this moment looked intense and effective so a nice pointer here.
Another good pointer is when Matt comes down to check up on things and spot this killer torturing him in which this looked pretty intense as well as him being tied up.
Then the plot falls flat when she recevies a call from the police telling her the calls are coming from the house in which this seemed too obvious on what was happening here but things seem briefly chilling when she discovers that there's a surveillance camera watching her. Then it falls flat again when she tries to check up on little Molly to get her out of the house but she doesn't seem to be as freaked like she was supposed to have been with this situation happening here. When the killer is revealed things seem disappointing when we spot as to what is done here but yet there's a perfect moment when Trish defends herself and spot him falling down near a staircase and passing out with her trying to walk past him which makes you watch wondering if he will grab her since this is a common situation which works in well in every horror flick.
There's too many shots on Trisha tied up in the recroom as it even takes too long when she is truggling and sobbing until we spot the killer again which is an excuse to fill in the time here and I was thinking to myself "Get on with it!!!" There are some disturbing moments when we spot the killer forcing her to watch on what he's going to do with one of her friends as it worked in well here but afterwards things were getting terribly triteful once again.
Things take a long time when Matt tries to untie himself and Trisha too but yet it keeps you in suspense wondering if they will free themselves before the killer returns.
There's even a chase with Trisha running away from the killer and getting to a vehicle in which you wonder if she will make it in time before he catches her as this looked sloppy but suspenseful regardless.
Bottom line is that this was a take on the remake of When a Stranger Calls and a bad ripoff on it since it's not effective or scary at all except for brief moments as mentioned above. The film title sounds promising and so does the story but watching it is another story alltogether. One of those typical lame brained indie horror films by Asylum. Saves from bombing by the odd fun touches otherwise you'd wanna avoid it unless you're in the mood for a bad film.

The acting is not terrible but not that great either. Lead actress Rebekah Kochan (Trisha) I'd have to say was the best out of the whole cast in which she seems to know her stuff as an innocent babysitter in the flick by acting open minded on stuff plus does an impressive job with her nice behavior by giving in easily on certain situations. However when she acts upset talking on the phone it needed a bit of improvement but she does a nice job acting anxious at times. She even does well stressing a situation and getting upset about it all which shows some nice hype here. She shows some good struggling energy during the suspenseful moments which was a nice pointer as well as doing a nice job struggling and sobbing. In the end of her performance she seemed to do an okay job showing her raging aggressions while shooting a gun.
Robert Buckley (Matt) seemed to breeze through okay as the guy next door boyfriend showing a good uplifting type of behavior and yet acting sarcatic about certain situations and just trying to take things lightly showing a decent energy while behaving like this. Plus he does a good job by talking about a situation and showing a good charisma by all of this as well as reacting well to stuff. He also does a nice job with his aggressions speaking on a cell phone showing nice aggressions but at times it is overly done. He does a nice job reacting to pain when he is tortured which comes off well. However, when he tries to struggle to break free by being tied up he lacks a bit. Yet shows a great intense and painful reaction while getting stabbed which looked natural.
Mark Irvingsen (The Madman) wasn't too bad in his performance but at times tries way too hard to seem intimidating the way he came across such as doing his first killings like stabbing others which seemed to look a little stale but sometimes he showed a fast paced energy too. He was good with his blocking and thinking fast by what he does. But yet when he speaks coldly and wickedly it seemed a bit too silly. His presence at times needed improvement as well.
Sarah Hall (Chrissy) was a little over the top in her performance as someone who acted like a flritatious type in which she got on my nerves at times. She wasn't overly terrible but needed some tips on how to come across better by portraying a character. She seemed silly while trying to act lustful and hyperactive in what she does. However she does a nice job sobbing while being tied up and gagged in which this looked fairly disturbing with her actions on this.
Derek Osedach (Frank) was another interesting one in which he came across annoying as well but yet this was the intention as he does this in a decent fashion too. I found that he reminds me as one of those goofballs who doesn't take stuff seriously. A typical teenager indeed. He was a passable one in his performance and shows a nice hyperactive attitude. He seemed to be very energetic with what he does here.
Carissa Bodner (Molly) knew her stuff a great deal as one of those mischievious but inncoent child as she does a nice job with her discussions by coming across as innocent and was believeable by acting polite on things. She really drew attention pretty well onto the screen here as well as doing a nice job acting curious while she was in bed and asking the babysitter something as she seemed to behave believeably uplifting here.

Rebekah Kochan has her shirt pulled open while tied up with breasts exposed.

Lots of bloody stabbings on families in the beginning and gruesome results.
A slit throat revealed.
A little girl bloodily slaughtered in bed but it looks phony.
Another slit throat which looked more gruesome.
A knife is stabbed through someone.

The composing sounded pretty off as we have trashy fast paced violin sounds coming from a synthesizer which sounds obviously fake as well as some banging sounds which was supposed to make you jump but it sounds a little amateurishly done. However there's the odd high screeching sounds for the still moments with the killer calling the babysitter which works in well with the odd bumps which seemed to sound okay too. However most of it was pretty lame all composed by Mel Lewis.