When Michael Calls (1972)

Helen Connelly (Elizabeth Ashley) is going through a change in life, finally leaving her husband Doremus (Ben Gazarra). But maybe she misses him. And maybe she’s losing her mind, as she keeps getting phone calls from her fifteen years dead nephew Michael. And maybe it’s the supernatural because with each call, someone dies.

Before it’s all over, Michael’s brother Craig (Michael Douglas), a psychiatrist at a school for disturbed children, reveals that yes, that’s Michael’s voice; then no small manner of deaths happen, like a police officer’s body falling out of a tree in front of kids and someone murdered by bees.

When the movie moves from its ghost story origins in the latter half, it loses a bit. But it’s a fun TV movie that doesn’t ask much of you and delivers some small screen chills (and kills).

Based on the book by John Farris (who wrote the screenplays for The Fury and Dear Dead Delilah),  this is directed by Philip Leacock (Baffled, Dying Room Onlyten episodes of Gunsmoke) and written by James Bridges (he directed and wrote The Paper Chase and The China Syndrome).

For some reason, in the VHS era, this was re-released as Shattered Silence.

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