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The Stepfather (2009)

PG-13 | | Crime, Thriller | 16 October 2009 (USA)
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Michael returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend. As the two men get to know each other, he becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand.

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(screenplay), (earlier screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jay
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Captain Mackie
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Dylan Bennet
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Real Estate Assistant (as Kara Briola)
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Storyline

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? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This fall, do you know who your family is? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, disturbing images, mature thematic material and brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesino en casa  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,581,586 (USA) (16 October 2009)

Gross:

$29,062,561 (USA) (20 November 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Braeden Lemasters, who plays Penn Badgley's younger brother in this movie, played Penn Badgley's younger self in Easy A (2010). See more »

Goofs

When Michael sneaks into the basement, pay attention to the scene with the cell phone. Cell phone breaks before hitting the ground and then the cell phone magically appears back on the deep freeze in the next scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Leah: One female in her late 30s, three minors. Multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Together
Written by Gary Bonner (as Garry Bonner) and Alan Gordon
Produced by Richard Patrick and John Spiker
Performed by Filter
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not a great film but I kinda sorta enjoyed it =)
8 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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


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