Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Stepfather (2009)

THE STEPFATHER goes along the safest, most teen-friendly route in remaking the 1987 cult classic. While the original did not rely on blood and gore to win over the audience, the implied violence and terrifying performance by Terry O'Quinn left audiences stunned. Dylan Walsh brings a good amount of intensity to his interpretation of the character, but as a whole, the film proves to be a flaccid and unnecessary attempt. David is a mild mannered salesman that is marrying in to a broken family with three kids, but as his fiance's ex-husband, the neighbors, and his co-workers begin growing suspicious of his shrouded past, he must go to any length to protect his dark secrets. The most noticeable misstep in this version is the family size. The film introduces three children into the storyline, but only develops the eldest son while the other two are absent in nearly the entire picture. For whatever reason, the filmmakers must not have found Walsh's performance to be dramatic enough, as the script relies on countless false scares using all of the cheapest tactics and music cues to try to drum up audience reactions. The filming is cold and sterile, which reflects David's despondent existence, but also cuts out any emotional response in the viewing. THE STEPFATHER is just another bland walk down an all too familiar path, and it only goes to prove that the original should have been left untouched.

Rating: 7/10.
Number of views: 1.

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  1. I refuse to watch this. And I'm kinda surprised you rated it a 7.

  2. A 7 ranks as a straight C from when we were in History together back in High School. The acting and technical work of the film are all handled well enough, but it doesnt stand out in any way. I can only justify giving a film a 6 or lower on my scale if there are serious flaws that drop it below average. I blame the scale and grading curve.

  3. The original was classic. With Westlake dying the year before, I didn't have the heart to watch the remake.

  4. Sad, they can't think up better ideas of their own, and they can't even do anything with the ideas from before laid before them. Gah!

  5. When you have to rely on cheap haunted house scares to drum up drama, you know you're in trouble. I'll continue to stay away from this one.

  6. Thanks for the review. I was on the fence, having enjoyed the original.

    Catering to the teen crowd, while I understand the financial aspects, does nothing for the films...


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