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The 2000s Horror Flop Defying Odds And Dominating On Netflix

One of the unique things about Netflix is the way unpopular or forgotten films suddenly blow up. It's become relatively easy to predict the success of the streaming service's original releases, but it's hard to say why older films consistently go through a resurgence, especially the ones that were hated at the time of their release.

Whether deemed underrated, misunderstood, or critically panned, tons of flop films can be found in the never-ending Netflix catalog. Who's to say why those like the raunchy comedy "Hall Pass" or the morally-confusing rom-com "Something Borrowed" have gotten a second chance with Netflix audiences?

This phenomenon often occurs with horror films because of their ability to veer into the 'so bad it's good' territory. Cheesy horror films and predictable slashers serve a purpose in the genre, and it's not to be prestige cinema. One of the latest horror film flops to find itself in Netflix's Top 10 is "When a Stranger Calls." The 2006 remake of a classic was universally lambasted upon release but has found a new audience.

When a Stranger Calls broke Netflix's Top Ten

Based on the 1979 cult classic of the same name, 2006's "When a Stranger Calls" is considered one of the worst horror movie remakes of all time. The film follows teenager Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle) as she receives increasingly frightening phone calls while babysitting.

Jill initially suspects that her friends are playing a cruel prank, but as the harassing messages become more terrifying, her worst fears are confirmed when the police reveal that the calls are coming from within the house. The intruder (portrayed by Tommy Flanagan, voiced by Lance Henriksen) aggressively goes after Jill and the two children, who must fight for their lives as they uncover the bodies of his other victims.

The rising popularity of "When a Stranger Calls" is unexpected given how poorly received it was back in 2006. The remake holds a measly nine percent on the Tomatometer and has been called a "pathetic update," "needless," and "punishingly dull" by critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

However, the film has been reevaluated in recent years, with one Bloody Disgusting writer debating whether it was a "misbegotten remake or worthwhile gateway horror" in 2020. Netflix audiences appear to be doing the same thing and giving "When a Stranger Calls" another go against all odds — at least while it's still spooky season.