That psycho stepfather has escaped from the insane asylum and had his face surgically altered. Now he's married again, this time to a woman with a child in a wheelchair. He goes on a ... See full summary »
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.
A family-values man named Jerry Blake 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 kills them. Then he alters his appearance, assumes a new identity, and skips to another town to begin the deadly ritual all over again. He marries Susan Maine, who sees him as the ideal surrogate father for her teenage daughter Stephanie, and he is soon up to his old tricks when she proves to be too much of a troublesome teen to handle.Written by
The Stepfather (Terry O'Quinn) is a man obsessed with the ideal family, his standards and values are old fashioned and all he wants to be is a good father/husband. But if they let him down he becomes a homicidal maniac and wipes out his family and then proceeds to move on to another single woman with kids and start again. He thinks he's finally found salvation in Susan his new wife (Shelly Hack) and Stephanie (Shoelen) her daughter. But when Stephanie starts getting in trouble in school, giving him the cold shoulder and talking about leaving home, the Stepfather gazes at that knife and the word "kill" floats in his mind .Need a little order around here.
The movie starts off on a grim note, lies dormant for a while with a few random explosions of violence and then finally blows up sky high for the finale. The script is tight and extremely well written. It would have been easy for the Stepfather to be written as a one dimensional, psychotic mess, fortunately he's one of the most complex and layered loony since Norman Bates's glory days. This movie deals with ordinary people, in ordinary situations which makes the grisly events much more shocking. The Stepfather is a welcomed addition to the horror genre.
Terry O' Quinn leads the pack as the psycotic Stepfather perfectly conveys all of his different facets. From his sweetness, his sadness, his anger to his longing, O Quinn is dead on. Jill Shoelen gives us a down to earth realistic performance and comes across as real teen, her best horror movie role and Shelly Hack (Charlies Angels)gives an underplayed, straight forward performance. All the actors have great chemistry between them.
All in all Joseph Ruben's directing is very smooth, the suspense very intense and he even manages to squeeze out some sympathy out of us for that poor psycho. The Stepfather is a real great nail biter with well written chartacters and great acting, the tension is always there and the climax at the end is just brilliant you wouldn't want to take your eyes of the screen for a second.
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