The Stranger (When a Stranger Calls)

The Stranger

Have you checked the children?
~ The Stranger

The Stranger is an enigmatic serial killer and the main antagonist in the 2006 American psychological horror film When A Stranger Calls, a remake of the 1979 horror film of the same name and based on the urban legend "The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs".

He is portrayed by Tommy Flanagan and voiced by legendary actor Lance Henriksen.


Outside a carnival on one side of town, a babysitter and the kids she is babysitting are brutally murdered. The police find that the murderer used his bare hands to tear them to shreds. The shot then changes to teenager Jill Johnson who is going through a teenage crisis, having her boyfriend, Bobby, cheat on her with her best friend Tiffany, and going over 800 minutes on her cell phone, for which her dad, Ben , has her babysit for a wealthy family to pay the debt. The unfortunate timing causes Jill to miss out on a school bonfire which her other best friend, Scarlett, is attending. Jill arrives at the elaborate Mandrakis House, which has a greenhouse built in the center. The parents of the Mandrakis family show her around and give her their numbers, stating that they won't be back until midnight. As the kids are seen to be upstairs asleep, Jill soon begins to receive anonymous phone calls.

Tiffany visits but Jill, fearing getting into further trouble, asks her to leave. However, tree branches knocked down by the storm outside block the road. When Tiffany gets out to move them, she is attacked by an unknown figure. The calls continue, each one becoming more alarming, suggesting she is being watched. Jill calls the police, who tell her they can trace the calls if she is able to keep him on the line for one minute. Whilst waiting for the caller to ring, Jill sees someone in the guesthouse. After seeing a light switch on, Jill quickly makes her way back to the house. The phone rings, after which the police hurriedly inform her that the calls are coming from inside the house.

Jill finds Tiffany's dead body in the upstairs bathroom whilst investigating an active shower, and is soon attacked. She gets the kids and they run into the greenhouse. Jill finds the housemaid dead as the attacker breaks in. They quickly escape and Jill manages to lock the man inside the greenhouse, but he finds another way out and attacks Jill. During the ensuing struggle, Jill manages to burn the man's back with the fireplace, then stabs him in the hand with an iron poker, before rushing out of the house into the arms of a police officer.

The Evil Stranger

The Stranger's face

As the injured stranger is taken by the police, his face is shown by the moonlight. Jill awakens in the hospital and the phone rings. She lets it ring, worrying that the events will reoccur. She waits for a time then nervously picks up the phone. As she hears nothing and begins to place the phone down, the camera pans to her reflection in the mirror, revealing the stranger to be behind her. The man grabs Jill, who screams hysterically, waking up from her hallucination and finding herself still in the hospital. The film ends with the doctors desperately trying to stop her frantic panicking, leaving the viewer to wonder if the events cost Jill her sanity.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.