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The Stepfather - Review

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The Stepfather
Director Nelson McCormick, who was earlier helming TV serials, entered the big screen through the remake movie Prom Night. Now, he has come out with another remake movie with most of its characters being the TV actors like Nip/Tuck's Walsh, Gossip Girl's Badgley, series veteran Ward, Damages's Turco, The Closer's Tenney, and ER's Sherry Stringfield (except Heard). The movie is nothing but a TV movie quality remake.

Veteran TV director Nelson McCormick's The Stepfather is a remake of the 1987 cult classic, which was directed Joseph Ruben. Donald E. Westlake had penned the original screenplay and Terry O'Quinn had played the lead role as a serial killer. Now, the remake features Dylan Walsh and Sela Ward in lead roles.

JS Cardone, who had written the script for remake Prom Night, has now once again reworked the original screenplay for The Stepfather. But the script of new Stepfather is astonishingly dull and it is so relentlessly dumbed down the original. Cardone has lifted many sequences from other movies.

The original movie has an enduring reputation as a suspense thriller. Although the remake is considered as generic thriller, it does not provide thrill to the audiences. It is a bland movie. The scattered murders are perfunctory and the suspense is nonexistent until a climax as overwrought as it is predictable. There are no surprises or revelations, but just the playing out of the inevitable conflict between David and Michael.

Wayward teenager Michael (Penn Badgley) comes back home after spending a year in military boarding school to see his mother Susan (Sela Ward) and his insanely hot girlfriend Kelly (Amber Heard). But he finds his mom is engaged to a new man called David (Dylan Walsh). David goes out of his way to make Michael feel welcome. But suspicions unravel his nasty track record of marrying widows and divorcees and then killing them and their kids.

NIP/TUCK"s Dylan Walsh is good in the title role. But he is nowhere near Terry O"Quinn when compared to his canny charming/crazy performance in the original. Sela Ward is also pretty good as his wife Susan. The real star here is probably Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl. Amber Heard fares better as his insanely hot girl friend.

However, the movie The Stepfather utterly fails to create interest among the audiences with its predictable screenplay. It can be a negligible horror film.

Cast: Dylan Walsh, David Harris, Sela Ward, Susan Harding, Penn Badgley, Michael Harding, Amber Heard, Kelly Porter, Jon Tenney, Jay

Director: Nelson McCormick

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