In 1977, director Fred Walton delivered his horror/thriller short, The Sitter. The 20-minute film – based on the urban legend of ‘the babysitter and the man lurking upstairs’ – showed a great deal of potential and was given the go-ahead to be turned into a full, feature-length movie.

The feature-length film was When A Stranger Calls – which arrived in cinemas in 1979. But it wasn’t the only entry in the series.

So, how many When A Stranger Calls movies are there?


The When A Stranger Calls movies in order

To date, there are four When A Stranger Calls movies. The When A Stranger Calls movies are as follows:

  • The Sitter (1977)
  • When A Stranger Calls (1978)
  • When A Stranger Calls Back (1993)
  • When A Stranger Calls (2006)

Are all of the When A Stranger Calls movies part of the same series?

Image: ©Columbia Pictures

The When A Stranger Calls movies break down as follows:

  • The Sitter is a 20-minute short which provided the premise/loose template for the movie series as a whole.
  • When A Stranger Calls 1979 is an extended remake of The Sitter. It begins with a reworking of the 20-minute short, then expands the story to fill out a 97-minute running time.
  • When A Stranger Calls Back is a belated TV movie sequel to When A Stranger Calls 1979. The film includes some of the characters from the previous movie. 
  • When A Stranger Calls 2006 is a remake of When A Stranger Calls 1979. This film is not connected to the previous entries.

Who are the cast of the When A Stranger Calls films?

Notable cast members in the When A Stranger Calls film series include Lucia Stralser, Curt Sanders, Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Jill Schoelen, Camilla Belle, Lance Henriksen, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, Clark Gregg, and Dianna Agron.

Is the When A Stranger Calls series the work of the same director?

Image: ©Screen Gems

The When A Stranger Calls movies are the work of two directors. Fred Walton directed The SitterWhen A Stranger Calls 1979 and When A Stranger Calls Back, while Simon West directed When A Stranger Calls Back 2006.


What is the best When A Stranger Calls movie?

Image: ©Screen Gems

When A Stranger Calls 1979 and When A Stranger Calls Back are regraded very favourably by fans and critics. If you have not seen these movies, give them a watch!

As for the critical opinion of IMDb, the When A Stranger Calls films are ranked as follows:

  • The Sitter (1977) – 6.6/10
  • When A Stranger Calls (1978) – 6.5/10
  • When A Stranger Calls Back (1993) – 6.2/10
  • When A Stranger Calls (2006) – 5.1/10

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