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We’re dedicating this month’s Friday Night Film picks to Noirvember and as we’re just coming out of the spooky season, we start off with the late-70s chiller WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, a fascinating blend of home invasion terror and gritty noir. 

The film is famed for an ominous opening act that is an obvious precursor for Wes Craven’s Scream, as a quiet night in the suburbs for babysitter Jill turns into a nightmare when she’s terrorized by an anonymous caller repeating “have you checked the children?” to which there is a predictably grim outcome. 

What starts off in quintessential slasher territory evolves into a cat-and-mouse thriller when, seven years later, a morally suspect private detective hunts the escaped child murderer across the dingy underbelly of nighttime Los Angeles.  

Even after When a Stranger Calls moves on from its opening slasher premise, it remains a scary watch with a truly unhinged performance from a terminally-ill Tony Beckley as the crazed killer loose and lost in an unforgiving urban setting.

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