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  • Of all the films to remake The Stepfather (1987) starring the excellent Terry O'Quinn seems like a really peculiar choice.

    I personally enjoyed the original and to an extent its two sequels but went into this assuming the worst. I felt like it would miss the point of the original and overly gloss it with Hollywood sparkle.

    Well, it's somewhere inbetween. The Stepfather is a bigger budget version of essentially the same tale, but simply not done as well. So it looks all pretty pretty but doesn't have the same impact that Terry O'Quinn provided.

    As a thriller this is passable, just try to forget that its a remake and don't compare it to the superior original.

    Dylan Walsh is okay in the role and the film also includes a young Amber Heard on the upswing of her career.

    Watchable stuff, but it simply didn't need making.

    The Good:

    Surprisingly excellent soundtrack

    Passable performances

    The Bad:

    The whole thing feels so unnecessary

    Not as good as the original

    Things I Learnt From This Movie:

    We shouldn't live in a world where we need to background check potential partners, but we probably should
  • "The Stepfather" is a remake of the 1987 cult classic by the same name staring Terry O'Quinn. The story begins with Michael Harding (Penn Badgley) returning home from military school to find his mother (Sela Ward) happily in love and living with her new boyfriend, David (Dylan Walsh). As the two men get to know each other, Michael becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand. Is he really who he says he is or could David be hiding a dark side ? Along with his girlfriend Kelly (Amber Heard), his father Jay (Jon Tenney), and Susan's friends (Paige Turco and Sherry Stringfield), they slowly start to piece together the mystery of the man who is set to become his stepfather, but they may be too late in getting to the truth... In the last decade we've witnessed a lot of remakes and spin offs, most of them unnecessary, and that's the case with this film. And the reason why it is unnecessary, is because it doesn't add anything to the original besides a groovy soundtrack. The film doesn't really have a voice of its own, instead it's almost a play by play remake with a few differences to make it up to date. Despite being unnecessary, this remake is still quite enjoyable, however, it doesn't have the subtlety of the original and also Terry O'Quinn was much better as a protagonist then Dylan Walsh. O'Quinn had more charisma and delivered his lines with much more impact. And then there's a few things that drag the film down, like the sexualization of Amber Heard ( numerous shots of the young actress in her bikini and underwear, which I wouldn't mind, had it been done more tastefully instead of being a deliberate attempt to please the male audience), plus the poorly done makeovers of David and the lesbian subplot which made absolute no sense to me and seemed out of place. Despite all this, The Stepfather is still a nice little thriller and quite enjoyable, just know that the original is far better.

    6/10
  • I have a strict policy that states movies featuring either (a) a cat suddenly jumping out from a corner accompanied by an ominous sounding music chord or (b) a mirror that is empty of anyone but one character who turns away, then turns back and suddenly sees the killer in the mirror behind them...well these movies are only going to be so good. This movie has both, within about 60 seconds of each other. In spite of this, I have to say it's really not all that bad. I've seen many people complaining about the lack of originality, but when you're remaking a horror film from the 80's, it's almost inevitable that you're going to give the audience something they've seen before. That wasn't really bothersome to me though because the characters and anticipation overshadowed it for the most part.

    Dylan Walsh plays the stepfather in a role that was actually likable for the first part of the film. He meets a single mom played by Sela Ward and all is picture perfect until her bad boy son comes home from military school. We only know he's bad by the way because someone tells us. He's a pretty normal, well adjusted kid considering that his dad is no longer around and his mother has engaged herself to a stranger in the span of 6 months. Far as I could tell, his behavior is still within normal range. It might have made for a more interesting film though if he really was a wild child.

    So past that everyone knows what follows with the story. There is not a lot of gratuitous violence; even the killing scenes are low key which I don't really mind. If anyone is looking for lots of gore and clever death shots, this is not the film for them. The excitement is in the buildup, the experience of the characters finding out for themselves who the stepfather really is; especially when you have the one obligatory character, in this case the wayward son, who seems to intuit everything about the man from the first time he sets eyes on him. That standard plot device, a character who has it all figured out and NO ONE will believe him, well it's beyond old but it's moderately effective here.

    The mindless and unnecessary adolescent dialogue, together with the many gratuitous bikini shots of the son's pale and too skinny girlfriend, tend to bring the quality of the film down. They were neither necessary nor helpful. But if you can look past that and the lack of originality (is it fair to expect that in this film really?) then you'll find an adequate film that's worth a couple hours of your time. I've seen much worse in the horror/thrillers in the past few years.

    6/10
  • mustluvtacos21 October 2009
    I'm pretty sure this movie comes on Lifetime about three times a day. Not that there is anything wrong with re-telling an old story. I loved Christian Bale as Batman. But telling a story again in the same way as I've seen it a million times before? No likey. The biggest problem that I have with this movie is this. If there were no music in the entire movie... it would not have been remotely creepy. The only thing that seems to tip characters off that something may be awry is the ominous music in the background. There was not a single genuinely scary moment. "Oh no, my future step-father is standing in the kitchen! He must be a murderer!" Save your money, turn on Lifetime and watch the man hating gold you're already paying for.
  • I had the opportunity to see this film for free at an advanced screening last week. What I was met with was a poorly constructed and executed film. Fifteen minutes into The Stepfather I was bored and could not wait for the ending credits to roll.

    Characters in this movie were poorly thought out and extremely static. The way many of them acted was so unrealistic that it was hard to watch at points. Amber Heard's character was undeveloped and pointless, merely a factor of eye-candy as she was in her underwear or a bikini for 97% of the movie. Even Sela Ward lacked in the acting category in this film.

    If the stale characters weren't enough to make you grunt in agony then the plot and atmosphere was. The soundtrack was riddled with horrible music choices that clashed entirely with the mood of the movie. And the plot was extremely predictable and overdone. The Stepfather fully utilized the "dramatic music and close-to-danger" situation that results in nothing but making the viewer think something was going to actually happen.

    I knew the rest of the audience attending was in agreement with my opinion of the movie as stupid plot mechanism after stupid plot mechanism continued the "thrilling suspense." People were sarcastically shouting "Oh my god!" and "Come on!" and I couldn't agree more. How many cell phones need to break to put these characters in a state of panic? How many times must the villain magically revive himself after a near-fatal beating? Yawn.

    Don't see this movie. It was not worth being free, not worth the time. Best part of the movie for me? The movie theater popcorn.
  • I have to give this movie a favorable review only because it delivered something it didn't promise and that took me by surprise. The Stepfather, as I'm sure you all know, is a remake (reboot?) of the 80's slasher series that set the tone for every darn Lifetime movie starring Valerie Bertinelli or Nancy McKeon. A desperate divorcée falls for a mysterious guy who, despite telegraphing to the audience how evil he secretly is, manages to fool his fiancée and her family into thinking that he's a swell guy....that is, until the body count starts. The plot isn't worth discussing. There's nothing here that we haven't seen before. What IS worth discussing is the director's obvious decision to exploit Amber Heard's lovely figure in one long never ending cheesecake sequence. You could make the argument that the ONLY reason this film was even made in the first place was to launch Amber into the stratosphere of blogworthy sex symbols (not unlike what Michael Bay managed to do with Megan Fox). You'll see Amber in her underwear lounging in bed, Amber in her itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini, gratuitous close-ups of her splendid anatomy, etc. This exploitation becomes so flagrant that it distracts from the story itself, which is probably a good thing. In a way the Stepfather 2009 comes off more like a 70's Drive-In flick; the kind teenagers would flock to in hopes of seeing a little skin. Maybe that was the point after all? I sure hope it was. The movie certainly doesn't deliver much else.
  • After killing the whole family in Salt Lake City, the psychopath David Harris (Dylan Walsh) moves to Portland where he approaches to the divorced Susan Harding (Sela Ward) with her son Sean (Braeden Lemasters) and her daughter Beth (Skyler Samuels) in a supermarket. Six months later, David is living with Susan in her suburban house and the couple is planning to get married. When her rebel son Michael (Penn Badgley) returns home from military school, David welcomes Michael and supports him to stay home. But sooner Michael observes that the past of David is absolutely unknown and he suspects that his stepfather might be the missing killer. But neither her girlfriend Kelly Porter (Amber Heard) nor his mother see anything wrong with the stranger.

    The 1987 "The Stepfather" is a classic B-thriller, with Terry "John Locke" O'Quinn very convincing in the role of the deranged psychopath. This poor remake is terrible, beginning with the cast of the weirdo Dylan Walsh in the lead role. The transposition of the story from the late 80's to 2009 is absurd since with the present means of communication, the identity of David Harris would never remain unknown with the facility to retrieve his social security number or use of the Internet and software like Photoshop to check his face without beard, especially considering that he is among the ten most wanted criminals in America. The exaggerated use of clichés and the conclusion are awful, and I would like to ask the writers who would survive to a stab in the neck with such piece of glass. My vote is four.

    Title (Brazil): "O Padrasto" ("The Stepfather")
  • alienworlds28 October 2009
    Maybe people are expecting more and more from films-its just a movie-its not your life. I thought as something to sit down and watch for a bit it was fair game. I have a technical mind and I always think about how many times they did a certain scene or how many scenes were left on the cutting floor for the finished product. Longer than usual, it was not very bloody which was kind of a relief, and it probably had more in common with the thrillers made in the 1950s, than something out of the modern age. In real life stepfather's can be an unwelcome event, so in that sense this movie taps a vein of something unsettling in the real world. Above average acting helped.
  • A meek-looking guy man named David Harris (Dylan Wash)marries widows and divorcées with children in search of the perfect family. As soon as his new family members show signs of being human and not robots who will march unquestioningly to his tune, his dreams of domestic bliss begin to crumble, and he murders them. Then he alters his appearance, assumes a new identity, and skips to another town to begin the deadly ritual all over again. He attempts to marry Susan Harding (Sela Ward) , who sees him as the ideal surrogate father for his sons , and he is soon up to his old tricks when she proves to be too much of a troublesome young son Michael (Penn Badgley) to handle. As Michael goes back home from military school to find his mother falling in love and living with her new love interest . As both of them get to know each other, he along with his father (Jon Tenney) become more and more suspicious of the person who is always there with a helpful hand .

    Exciting thriller has well-cast Dylan Walsh who manages to deliver a good performance as a family-values man in search of the perfect little family but he results to be a psycho who eventually erupts into violence. But Amber Heard steals the spectacle showing a breathtaking bikini playing as son's girlfriend . The film turns out to be an inferior remake from successful original ¨The stepfather¨ (1987) by Joseph Ruben with Terry O'Quinn , Jill Schoelen, and Shelley Hack that was followed by other two follow-up as ¨ Stepfather 2¨ (1989) by Jeff Burr again with Terry O' Quinn , along with Meg Foster and Jonathan Brandis and ¨Stepfather 3¨ . Rating : 5,5 ; acceptable and passable .
  • Though a lot of the elements were typical and expected in this movie, it still held interest and had a few good 'gotcha' moments. However, as it neared the end, it seemed that the editor just hacked together an ending to shorten the movie down because it was in danger of actually being two hours long. In fact, one of the coolest terror scenes in the trailer was when the circular saw falls from the attic and dangles over the girlfriend, (like Vincent Price's Pit and the Pendulum) but guess what? It's NOT in the movie. I was ticked off. Now, I know some scenes are in a trailer and don't make it to the final cut, but come on! It's the last shots in the trailer and the most terrifyingly memorable! It's false advertising at it's worst! Oh well, hopefully it will be in the DVD release, making that a good reason to skip seeing it in the theaters.

    Sadly the popularity of this film hinges on the reality that way too many men marry into a family and think they can have everything go their way without regard for how the children have been raised before they came along. Kids love to push boundaries and rarely ever accept the 'new dad' as anything more than an ATM, so the guy let's his frustration build to the point where he explodes on them, losing all credibility and respect. Obviously they don't all become psycho killers, but the abuses run rampant in today's society, so it's no surprise why so many teens are eager to see this film.
  • David Harris (Dylan Walsh) has tried to make his family work, but it just wasn't going to happen. So he kills them and starts over in a new town. But it's never that simple, is it? Will this new family work or will the killing have to start all over again? Like many other recent horror films (at least a dozen in the past year), this is a remake. And I loved the original, a powerhouse lead by the undefeatable Terry O'Quinn ("Lost") with 1980s scream queen Jill Schoelen ("Popcorn"). So, needless to say, I liked the original better... but the remake still has something to offer.

    Dylan Walsh does a fine job and is more than good enough trying to be creepy and comforting at the same time. Sela Ward, his wife, seemed lacking and was probably the weakest character in the story. The son, Michael (Miley Cyrus' crush, Penn Badgley), was respectable and a strong supporting lead (though not Jill Schoelen). And his girlfriend (Amber Heard)... well, someone needs to tell me why she was always in a bikini or her underwear. That chick needs to eat a sandwich.

    For being PG-13, the suspense and thrills were very nice. There was a cat fake-out, and even with one scene cut (it contains a buzzsaw... watch for it on DVD) there was some good, old-fashioned butt-kicking. And, like any modern horror film, they had to take technology into account -- cell phones and the Internet were utilized as part of the plot. I don't happen to think the "America's Most Wanted" sketch looked like David Harris, but that's forgivable.

    I don't know what to make of the lesbian subplot... that requires a second viewing or a commentary track to explain.

    You must see the original, but this isn't a bad film, either. And if you're younger and maybe not ready for full blown horror (although I don't think any age is too young), this is a good stepping stone. Just turn off your ears before the horrifyingly bad remake of The Turtles' "Happy Together" in the closing credits. I like Filter, but this song fails.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When the previews came out for this movie last spring and summer, I watched and thought "Hmm, this movie looks just a little bit familiar. Oh ya there was that really good movie a few years ago called Disturbia". The plots of these two movies are identical, there's a few differences that makes The Stepfather its own movie though. But the biggest thing that sets it apart is what, at least I thought was going to happen in Disturbia. I'm talking about the mom getting with the killer. They danced around it in Disturbia, but that was the big difference in The Stepfather that made it its own movie. When watching the Disturbia, I was thinking "Wow, wouldn't it be cool if the mom got with the killer?" Well I'm glad it didn't because when it did in The Stepfather it wasn't as good as I thought it would be.

    Now I'll try to be semi positive about this by talking about some of the good things the movie offered.

    I think one of the biggest reasons people saw this movie just might have been because there was a really hot actress in it. I didn't mind that she was in a bathing suit for about 95% of the movie, I actually liked it, but it just didn't make sense. I think the guy actor to only wore clothes other then shorts like maybe twice as well, didn't get that either. I guess no one there wears clothes other than bathing suits? The killer, I can't think of his name right off the back but i know he's from Nip Tuck. He's a good actor, he was probably the best part of the movie. He was the best part because he did a good job trying to be the good guy and the killer at the same time. I think for the character they wanted people to think that he didn't want to kill anymore, that he did really want a family. His whole set up in the basement was stupid though, because they showed it like four times, and the most exciting/scary thing that happened down there was the main character's dad being killed and the main character being stuck down there while he killer's trying to kill his mom. The whole movie pretty much is set at the main characters house, I don't think he leaves that many times, sorta like Disturbia. But when doing this the audience is becoming familiar with the environment, and in it's own it becomes a bigger part of the movie. So in all the movie is not that bad, but it's not that good. It's worth watching for a rental, or even buying when it goes into the $5 bin. So I'm gonna give it a 6, it could've been a lot better then it actually was.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ...the real title of this film.

    TWO WARNINGS:

    1) I checked two "user" reviews for this movie here on IMDb which were good/favorable towards this movie and they have NO OTHER COMMENT HISTORY! Or any history, of any kind, with IMDb.com. To me, that means these reviews are planted BY THE STUDIO, cast, or crew!

    2) This comment contains no spoilers at all, for there is nothing about this film to spoil or give away, honest!

    NO. That's the first thing you should say to anyone who asks you to see this. Better yet, make another movie suggestion. Not even a hot date is worth taking to this because there will never be a second date and nothing is gonna happen after the date either!

    Plot in a nutshell- Serial Killer looking for the "perfect family", formerly troubled son returns home after 6 months away at a military school, is suspicious of his new stepfather, and shakes things up.

    There are numerous things the writer and director could have done with this movie. My expectations were exceedingly low (the same dud-making-duo behind the 2008 "Prom Night" re-imagining) and were fulfilled.

    Followers of the original cult classic will not find a remake or re-imagining but a different film with the title "The Stepfather" attached.

    Almost every possible scenario which could have benefited this movie was either rushed, failed at during the execution, or left out entirely. Believe it or not, there isn't even one decent scene where Mom and son have the "he's a monster serial killer why are you marrying him?!?" fight. What the film is reduced to is us watching Amber Heard wear a new two-piece swimsuit every other scene while floating in the pool with the troubled son (no, I'm not even kidding), trying not to laugh at Sela Ward's nose-job, ignoring the blatant homophobic references ("Meet him in the basement? for what?") including the 12 year-old giggle factor of two women saying "I love you" to each other, and rushed kill scenes devoid of any true violence.

    I did give this film 2 stars however. The first is for not being as bad as their "Prom Night" remake. The second is for making a film which will end both of their careers, more or less.

    Let's not pay Hollywood any more money to produce sanitized waste like this movie. Suggestion? Go see the "Last House on the Left" remake instead.
  • I enjoyed this movie. Yes, there are some predictable parts, and yes it is a scenario we have scene time and time again, but if your looking for a suspense thriller for 2009, this can be added to your list. The Stepfather plays a good role with his intense ways. The oldest son is realizing there is something totally not right with this picture, but he is well distracted by his girlfriend. She thinks her boyfriend Michael is paranoid of his "soon to be" new Stepfather. The Mom is oblivious, her sister is curious! Everything starts unraveling along with the Stepfather's nerves when things seem to not go his way. Makes you wonder why the Mom doesn't care about any information on her future husband, guess she's wearing those rose colored glasses awful thick! It's a movie worth watching, if anything, you'll be entertained! :)
  • dbborroughs3 November 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    Young man comes home from school to find his mother is in love with a new boyfriend. Something about the boyfriend doesn't sit well with the son and he begins to dig into the man's past only to find the very real possibility that he's a psychopath murdering less than perfect families in his wake.

    Okay remake of the 1987 minor classic that spawned sequels and made Terry O'Quinn a star. The problem with the film here is two fold. First the film rather blandly told. It seems like a film that was thrown together with an aim for TV but ended up being better than they hoped so they put it into theaters (also its PG-13 makes this a rather bloodless affair). The other problem is that Dylan Walsh as the stepfather isn't as menacing as Terry O'Quinn. To be certain he seems more like a regular guy, but when it comes down to being a monster he's just not as frightening.

    I didn't hate this but at the same time I was wondering why I was watching it. I should have waited for cable.
  • I stayed up late on a work night to watch this and I'm disappointed. That's 90 minutes of my life I won't get back. The whole movie seemed to lack suspense. It was advertised as a slasher movie, but it contained no gore and the most pathetic excuse for violence. It was almost laughable. I feel like they blew the whole budget on Amber Heard's bikinis and underwear, so they couldn't afford any really good bloody or gruesome SFX. There was no story arc whatsoever, it just didn't seem like it was snowballing into this incredible edge-of-your-seat suspense, he ended up killing everyone in such obvious and stupid ways, there were some scenes that could have been made to be incredible, but they were cut short and you didn't really know what happened. Even the ending was anti- climatic. Personally I don't know how a serial killer who interacts with the victims families and close personal friends can evade capture. This is 2009 America, surely the man was caught on CCTV somewhere? I just found the whole story unbelievably boring and far fetched. A man deleted a photo you took of him off your phone and you deduce that he's a serial killer? Right until the final showdown, I was wondering when the suspense and drama would kick in.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Susan Harding(Sela Ward)is an attractive and lonely widow with children. One, Michael(Penn Badgley), returns home from military school to find his mother has a live-in boyfriend David(Dylan Walsh). On first appearances David seems a likable and charming guy. But this ultimate nice guy has a past on the darker side. Pretending to be the ideal husband and stepfather, David has an ulterior motive when picking out Susan at the grocery store. David seems to have a bad habit of changing families like some people change houses. Michael begins delving into David's past to discover some possible deviate and psychotic activities. There is now an awkward feeling when you hear that "Daddy's home".

    Walsh makes himself pretty easy to dislike. Ward is good at what she does; but her friend Jackie(Paige Turco)is a stone fox. Also in the cast: Jon Tenney, Skyler Samuels and Amber Heard. Violence is pretty ordinary and the chills were at a minimum.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Years ago during a love affair with bad 80's slashers with multiple sequels I watched the original The Stepfather which was gory and disturbing and blood soaked like many 80's horror flicks. So I was excited to see this remake because I for one love remakes for the most part (Amityville Horror was amazing!) I should have thought more about this and known that walking into the film they would PG the movie and make it so pre-teen friendly that The CW could air it between Gossip Girl and 90210 (I like both those shows by the way.) Horror is toned down and reduced almost entirely to shock value and 'hidden kills.' That much disappoints and requires the entire film to rely on the cast and for the most part that doesn't work very well. The movie is not un-redeemable and has its moments but it loses a lot of ground in the horror genre. Instead it tries to borrow pieces from teeny thriller flicks like Disturbia, and better made remakes like Friday the 13th, and even Halloween which was not great but at least it was gory as anything. Ultimately the remake of The Stepfather ends up as a teen thriller more than a horror.

    Gossip Girl alumni Penn Badgley plays the black sheep returning from Military school. Badgley is decent in the leading role but having seen him in Gossip Girl and now this his range as an actor seems pretty limited as he basically plays the same role. I think I expected more from Sela Ward who plays the Mom and unsuspecting victim but she basically turns in a just okay performance. She adds to the "made for TV feel" of the whole thing. Amber Heard plays the eye candy of the film and in that aspect she does very well. Her and Badgley have decent chemistry but her character and performance is rather shallow and she does other than look pretty. Moving on to some stronger players in the film--Jon Tenney plays Badgley's real father who tries desperately to help protect his family including his ex-wife to no avail. Unfortunately Tenney is sparingly used and doesn't get a big role but he does bring some genuine emotion and intensity to the film. And finally the saving grace of the film is the disturbingly twisted performance by Dylan Walsh as The Stepfather. He gives a terrifically two sided performance as the loving doting father and new husband and then the twisted killer in the blink of an eye. One of the best lines in the film as the story unravels is him pausing to ask "Wait...who am I here?" Amazing. He makes an amazing killer to the film.

    Like much of the entire cast director Nelson McCormick comes from heavy Television and I always point that out and its not like I hold that against anyone because I love TV including some of the stuff McCormick has directed such as the brilliant Southland, CSI New York, Prison Break etc. but there is a big leap between telling an ongoing story in an hour and telling a complete story in two hours. I felt like perhaps McCormick wasn't given a lot to work with and it almost just seemed like a hobby to all of them rather than a serious attempt at a film (with the exception of Walsh.) The Stepfather was a bit of a cult classic to remake but I still had high expectations and while it isn't a complete mess it isn't made with adults in mind. So the good news is teens can watch it and adults can watch it at the same time but don't expect anything mind blowing. Its sadly subtle and poorly executed. 6/10
  • petit7621 October 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    This has to be the most predictable horror movie I've ever seen (and I use the word "horror" lightly). Every time there's a closeup of someone's face and the shot is slightly to one side, you can guarantee there'll be a killer behind them. When the old woman is pushed down the stairs, my whole theater laughed out loud. The fact that it wasn't enough for the kid to think his stepfather was a killer when he saw him in the basement through the vents checking his missing dad's cell phone, but when the kid himself suddenly is missing a picture he took of his stepfather on his cell phone, then it's time to freak out, because that is a sure indication a new family member is a killer.

    Then there are the unnecessary shots of the young teen-aged couple who always happen to be in bathing suits because I think Nelson McCormick must get off on that kind of thing. They must get sick of swimming at some point?! And of course, the ending, the wannabe "false climax." Sela Ward locks herself in the bathroom when her new husband starts coming after her with a knife, and as he's trying to bust down the door, he knocks the mirror off the door. Understandable, right? THEN he finally knocks the door in and gets in the room. Sela Ward has a piece of shattered glass in her hand and is wielding it against the much stronger, very built man who has killed numerous people before with knives. She stabs him in the neck (I have no knowledge as to how he didn't just stab her first) and he falls into the bathtub with a shard of glass protruding from his neck. She then meets with her son and her son's girlfriend in the kitchen and they decide they need to leave, when all of a sudden, BOOM: there's the killer! But wait...didn't he get stabbed in the neck? And that must've severed numerous arteries which would cause severe internal bleeding...but oh well, he's back, and with only a little splotch of blood on his neck.

    And my last complaint is merely how cheap the transition from movie to credits looked. I felt like I was watching "Beverly Hills Cop": suddenly, there was a single still shot and the credits all faded in at once. And the god-awful version of that famous song by The Turtles done by Filter is playing and it just doesn't fit, and ugh.

    Save the 9.50. Don't go see this film. Only way you should willingly decide to watch it is if you stream it on Netflix for FREE. Don't pay anything. Anything more than a cent is a waste on this clichéd piece of crap.Evren Buyruk from USA
  • I have to say, after seeing a lot of reviews of this movie, I can honestly say that I'm a little perplexed. A lot of them seem to believe this is some kind of Lifetime movie, some call it a typical dumbed-down teen thriller and I saw one reviewer call it a call back to old horror titillation, and I'm surprised and that this film is neither of those. In fact, it's the exact opposite. While some Lifetime thirllers revolve around a woman who is being tortured by her abusive husband, who'm she must try to escape from his evil man-grasp, this film is actually about the older son of the family who tries to prove to his mother that her boyfriend is evil, much to the mother's (understandable) denial. It's not a teen revenge movie about a kid who trying to rail against the new guy in his life who (for some unexplained reason) is evil. It's a film about domestic life and show's you every minute of what's happening with both the son and the stepfather, explaining every happening and soaking up all the tension between them, with the only exposure to his teen life his girlfriend, who serves less as his flat love interest to escape to and more like his straight-man who calls him about on an obsession based on a (though correct) simple distrust. Speaking of which, the reviewer who said this was all about the skin and sex appeal must have been pretty prudish, because I think there's about one scene which focuses about them making out, and it's pretty tame as far as thrillers go. She spends most of movie in her bikini, but it's never the focus of any shot. The character's are an oddity in film today, as they're likable for the most part, and when they aren't, it's understandable. This especially odd for the teen couple, who seem intelligent and more than one note. The stepfather is affable, and pulls off the charming part well for the most part, seeming just like the stepdad you've always wanted. He commits murders throughout the movie, but if they never showed any before the end the only thing you would suspect is that the son is obsessed...except for the blasting soundtrack, which I'll admit eases up toward the middle. There's no campiness or over-the-topness in the movie, and everything is done in a realistic fashion, enough to say that if someone was this smart and charming, this could happen to you. It's a bit anti-climatic at times, but otherwise keep you satisfied through out the film.

    This is a thriller/horror movie that keeps up with the times. It's not like horror movies today that seem to forget they're not in the 70's, making advances in technology into huge plot holes or underestimates the intelligence of today's people, whether the characters or the audience. Rather it uses those advances to it's advantage and perfectly measures the logic and understanding of people today, sometimes using it to add relief or tighten suspense. It takes everything you knows about thillers, and while it doesn't turn them all around or revolutionize anything, it at least stays away from the stereotypes or make the standard tropes less tired It's not some kind of Lifetime movie of the week, or MTV Award bait, or even one of those David Loughery faux-thrillers; what this is a tight scripted, well-acted, truly suspenseful film that keeps you guessing, if you can predict what already happens. I recommend a lot of movies, but if your a horror or suspense fan and you've at least okay with the remakes of films like Friday the 13th or My Bloody Valentine, you have to go see this movie! It will amaze you in how they keep everything fresh and tense!
  • Michael Harding returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend, David. As the two men get to know each other, Michael becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand. Is he really the man of her dreams or could David be hiding a dark side?

    THE STEPFATHER is a sufficient thriller that gets the job done the way you expect it to. It has suspense, good performances, and is well made. I haven't seen the original film starring Terry O'Quinn so I can't compare it with the remake. However, I can say the remake is entertaining and is engaging while it lasts. What more can you ask for?

    The thing that I liked the most here was the family dynamics. I didn't know what to expect from Penn Badgley, who plays the main character, but he pulls off a very convincing performance. Sela Ward as the mother is just great and the pretty blond who shows some skin, Amber Heard, can actually act! Paige Turco and Jon Tenney were really good in their roles as well. However, it's obvious that Dylan Walsh is the main star of the film. He does a fantastic job as the crazy stepfather. Some of his scenes just gave me chills.

    There's also quite a bit of suspense in here, which surprised me. Sure, there's one cat jump scare (don't you just hate those?), but that's forgivable because there was only one. Some of the death scenes were quite disturbing as well. Being a PG-13 movie and all, you might expect death scenes with no blood to be quite "lame," as they say it, but that's where you're wrong. They're pretty realistic and not over the top as you might have seen in other films.

    If there's one thing I must complain about, it's the payoff. I thought it was way too short and that it could have been longer. In the end, however, the remake keeps you very interested until the very end. There's rarely any moment where you'll find yourself looking at your watch because the thriller gets the job done and does it efficiently and effectively.
  • 'The Stepfather' is a fairly decent thriller and slightly-slasher film in a time where films like this are horribly made. I've never seen the original 'Stepfather' film, but from what I can tell, this remake isn't too shabby. It has strong leads and a decent and straightforward script with good pacing. I loved the introduction of the film, where it explains how the "Stepfather" killer is able to kill a family and get away with it so many times. I like how there's never really a slow or boring part in the film. We like the main son, Michael, and his girlfriend. I think Penn Badgley and Amber Heard were good in their roles. I especially liked Dylan Walsh as the stepfather. Walsh made the character both likable and hated, and made him interesting. I didn't like how clueless the mom was; she's a complete idiot. One of the biggest problems the film had was the actions some of the characters took that didn't make sense. No one would logically marry someone they knew nothing about; it's just unrealistic. And there's one part where the stepfather walks out to his front lawn while there's a bunch of policemen right across the street. If you're a mass murderer on the run, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't make yourself that noticeable to the police. Also, the stepfather should have had the cell phone turned off from the beginning, not when someone's trying to call the cell phone. It's ridiculous. The stepfather's supposed to be a smart and clever guy, but we don't see that when he's with this new family. With all of this said and done, I felt that this remake of 'The Stepfather' didn't offer anything new, but it does entertain. I did like the ending and what happens to the stepfather; I felt it was a fairly good and interesting conclusion to the film. Though the ending may have felt rushed and quick, I was fine with it.

    PS: This remake of 'The Stepfather' in a lot of ways felt like 2007′s 'Disturbia' (3 Kents out of 4!). I was constantly reminded of 'Disturbia' while I was watching 'The Stepfather.' However, I like 'Disturbia' more and think it was made better and more interesting. The third act of 'Disturbia' wasn't great, though, which I think the remake of 'The Stepfather' succeeds in – having the film go through a constantly interesting pace.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THIS COMMENT CONTAINS SPOILERS...DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE ..

    I watched this tonight with some friends. It wasn't a complete waste of time, that's for sure. Good acting on some parts and kinda lame on the other. You know what I'm talking about, if you've seen it. There was barely any intense scenes. Yeah, a few. But not that much. Body count (Not including the family in the opening scene), ends at 2. The real father and the crazy cat lady across the street. Wow..And does he die in the end? No. They leave it open for another one. (Please No) The intense scenes they DID have, weren't bad for what they were. It was way more of a drama in my eyes.

    Maybe rent it first.

    6/10
  • I was able to see a private screening of this movie at AMC on 86th Street and well it was pretty much what I expected of yet ANOTHER remake. It brings really nothing new to the table and pretty much just introduces younger crowds to our old school classics.

    The Stepfather is yet another movie remade and re-imagined but they couldn't really take it to far as the original did. The movie while yes its very suspenseful at times and I do have to say the audience was very much into the movie, some people were yelling at the screen so it did receive good audience feedback but for me personally I just have to say its just another Hollywood remake which introduces nothing new, nothing we didn't already know, just another cheap attempt for a movie studio to make a few bucks from the younger generation. Basically if you haven't seened it and have the time and no desire to see anything else check it out, if your a fan of the original don't check it out. Want to see a horror movie this Halloween then go see PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. The Stepfather is worth a viewing if you can see it during matinée hours.
  • (10%) An immensely pointless waste of time and effort, that amounts to almost nothing, and it even takes way too long in getting there. This may have worked as a hour long TV show or maybe short film, but that would have depended upon a large overall improvement, as well as a change to both the script and the production, as there just isn't anything to this at all. If you really want to tone down the violence to your horror movie, as this does, which can actually be fine, then you need to offer something else in terms of tension, or mood, but this doesn't even have any of that, and it's not as if it is trying and failing because there's about half the movie's run time devoted to non-horror based elements. We see tons of the elder son and his girlfriend frolic in the pool, quite a bit of them all having dinner, and them attending some family parties, but only about 15-20 minutes of anything that even resembles horror. And even though this is solidly shot, and far from utterly unwatchable, there's still no getting away from how truly worthless this is.
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