Tthe film is all of a piece, a handsome, thoughtfully crafted production that generates a mounting terror securely anchored by assured performances, consistent psychological persuasiveness and believable dialogue. What's most chilling about The Stepfather is that it was inspired by an actual incident in New Jersey in 1971.
McCormick's Stepfather boasts a decent script by J.S. Cardone, but it seems to have been made in a bubble, as if nothing had transpired in the world of slasher/horror since the late Donald Westlake ("The Grifters") wrote the much-respected original.
The kickoff is good -- the finale effectively literalizes the expression “broken home” -- but director Nelson McCormick doesn’t keep things “taut” in between. Rather than do scenes right the first time, he tends to déjà vu them (this usually involves Amber Heard, wearing not-too-much).
Kirk HoneycuttThe Hollywood Reporter
This remake turns a fondly remembered horror/thriller into a mild and tedious suspense film.