Movie review: (horror) “The Stepfather” (2009)

December 11, 2010 at 8:19 pm (horror, movies)

  I’m not sure why I watched this movie. I’m a big fan of the 1986 original. Terry O’Quinn was fantastic as the original Stepfather. And it was something new at the time–a movie about the (unfortunately) real phenomenon of family annihilators.

Back to the remake. The performances are excellent. Dylan Walsh is terrific as the barely-concealed homicidal would-be family man. They boy who played the suspicious teenage son was, if anything, even better. The direction was good, and the cinematography and choreography was terrific. The final fight scene is great.

So why isn’t the remake as good as the original?

I’ll start with the obvious. The script. It’s weak. Supposedly, the Stepfather character has done this before, on more than one occasion. But he immediately starts making boneheaded mistakes that are sure to make people to think he’s, I dunno, a drooling-crazy serial killer.

Then there’s his motivation for murder. In the remake, Step’s entire motivation to kill people, including, ultimately, his new family, is that he’s made so many dumbass mistakes that they’ve figured him out. What an asshat! In the original, the really unsettlng part of the movie is watching Terry O’Quinn start out with great but overly high hopes for his new family. When they start making mistakes (in other words, acting like humans) you can see his dream begin to erode. His startling green eyes go from warm to disappointed to ice-cold and remote. YIKES!

Then there’s the gore. There isn’t any. I freakin HATE wussy PG-13 horror films. Okay, they’re fine if they’re about spooky ghosts and they don’t require any gore. But making a remake of a classic 80’s slasher as a PG-13? LAME.

I can’t really recommend the 2009 “Stepfather,” unless you’re a fan of the original and just can’t suppress your curiosity. It’s not a total waste of time, just kind of anticlimactic.

-Rated PG-13
-3 out of 5 stars
-Probably OK for older teens into horror


1 Comment

  1. Logan Burd said,

    Good review! I hadn’t seen the original, which may be why I thought it was better than some of the reviews I’ve been reading! You should check out my review and comment or subscribe!

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