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When a Stranger Calls Back

Genre: Mystery and Thriller; Lead Performer: Charles Durning, Carol Kane; MPAA Rating: R

Talk about a time warp: Fourteen years after starring in Fred Walton’s slasher flick When a Stranger Calls, Durning and Kane are back in his sequel. The question is why, since their characters in When a Stranger Calls Back are mere shadows of their former selves (he’s a once-obsessed cop now mellow and retired; she’s a previously terrorized babysitter now counseling other terrorized teens). And pitting them against a new psycho killer proves to be a real reach. Not even Walton seems to think it’s worth the effort: After a scary start, he meanders through the motions toward a shockingly halfhearted climax. C-

Originally posted February 4 1994 — 12:00 AM EST

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