With Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, Brian Geraghty
Directed by Simon West

While the original on which this film is based was no
Halloween or Friday The 13th, it did tap into the classic babysitter-in-peril cheap scare mode. Menaced by what seems to be a crank caller, this remake is obviously more reliant on modern technology, with a young girl having to baby sit in stead of go to a party with her schoolmates. With the kids already asleep, she basically has to hang around the lovely lakeside home – until the phone calls start. The intro segment of a murdered family makes it clear that the man on the other end of the line is more than just a prankster. Several moments of tension get diminished by classic (yet stale) clichés, while some familiar expectant ones get thwarted by snubbing the audience after threatening to go that route. The modern home’s single location offers large atmospheric spaces and still manages a sense of trapped claustrophobia and paranoia. The bad-guy remains hidden from the viewer for the bulk of the film, rendering the sudden finale a little flat for those who expect a great big Jason or Freddy climax. This in fact makes the movie more of a success in my eyes, as it dips into the well-trodden scary movie book, but still tries to shift the audience expectation a touch.
PS. Simon West has directed
Con Air as well as several TV shows, and had some remake experience in the sense of helming and adapting the big screen version of videogame heroine Lara Croft's Tomb Raider.

3 / C
- PB

1 2 3 4 5 6
A - B - C

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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