February 3, 2006, - 4:46 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
This weekend, we say skip these movies, debuting today:
* “When a Stranger Calls” (2006)–On this site, we’ve decried the constant bad remakes of movies that weren’t “broke” to being with. It epitomizes the decline of creativity and capitalism–and therefore, ultimately, freedom–in our society.
We were scared stiff by the 1979 original version of this movie, a great horror film. But this remake, starring complete unknowns, while slightly scary, is just plain silly. It’s not even half as scary as the original starring the Carole Kane, Charles Durning, and the late Colleen Dewhurst.
The remake relies heavily on contemporary technology in a very modern house that is some sort of Frank Lloyd Wright perversion, but all the new technology, cool house design and appliances, and searing, high-pitch violin music don’t make it more scary than it was in 1979. They, interestingly, make it less so (cell and cordless phones by VTech are apparently not as scary as rotary dial from Ma Bell). And the ending of the original was much scarier, and a much better ending.
We recommend getting the video or DVD of the original ’79 version instead of paying to see this new, very lite version (if you can find it–hard to find). We also hope they don’t remake “When a Stranger Calls Back,” the 1993 TV-movie sequel to the original (also starring Kane, Durning, and Dewhurst).
* “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada“–THIS MOVIE IS AN OUTRAGE. Tommy Lee Jones’ horrid film defames Border Patrol agents as evil, sex-crazed murderers who kill innocent illegal aliens for sport, while masturbating to Hustler Magazine. As you probably guessed, the illegal aliens are such nice people, and we Americans are unworthies who treat them like dirt. A column/review on this over the weekend.
Tags: Charles Durning, Colleen Dewhurst, contemporary technology, Frank Lloyd Wright, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Tommy Lee Jones, When a Stranger Calls, When a Stranger Calls Back