STUDIO: Sony Pictures
MSRP: $28.96
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

• Commentary

• Featurettes

• Gag Reel

• Trailer/TV Spots

The Pitch

Remakes happen. It’s time to update your daddy horror issues.

The Humans

Dylan Walsh, Sela Ward, Paige Turco, Penn Badgley and Amber Heard

The Nutshell

David Harris has just murdered his last family. Mr. Harris is desperately trying to string together a few folks and a home to create a nuclear family. When David meets the recent divorcee Susan, they hit it off. Six months later, Susan’s oldest son returns home to start some shit. He doesn’t like the fact that his mom is getting remarried to a potential psycho, so he is determined to ruin the pending marital bliss by sending David to jail. If you didn’t have the whole murder angle, this flick could’ve been a Hayley Mills vehicle.

Something you’ll never see on Chat Roulette.

The Lowdown

The Stepfather proves that the current crop of teenage filmgoers are the cultivated moron viewer that has always threatened to develop. I hate to play the old prick trash-talking the young people, but they’re supporting this PG-13 schlock and SONY/every other major studio is happy to oblige them. Why try hard when all you have to do is follow a formula of safe scares. Throw in a jump at a cat in between scenes of youth trying to get their parents to believe them. When you do go so far as to boldly introduce mentally deficient adults, always make them one step below Fred and Daphne in terms of cognitive reasoning.

The current crop of Horror remakes don’t have a direct source to blame. You can’t fault the journeyman directors hoping that the next retread will be their key to the big-time. The free market dictates what the studios will choose to develop and the market says shitty remakes and sequels. Most of the new horror film attendants are roughly between the ages of 14-18 and I want that to sink in for a moment. These are kids that grew up in the post Bronze Age of Big Studio Horror. They don’t understand the franchise pictures or the importance of supernatural elements. If a concept seems too far-fetched, they’ll deem it as being stupid and not worth their time. Therefore, they cling to the cheap thrills of real world horror. 

Dylan Walsh tries so hard to make the material become something better. He’s really developing post Nip/Tuck and he’s finding a foothold as a good genre lead. I wish the same could be said for the rest of the cast. Sela Ward, Paige Turco and Sherry Stringfield work together as this female triumvirate of dumb. It feels a little sexist that any female in a Modern Age horror flick can only be intelligent if she’s under the age of 30. Nothing Sela Ward does in the film can be described as forwarding the plot. She exists just to go derp when her son tries to talk to her.

No one is ever going to compare to Terry O’ Quinn’s cult-classic turn as the titular character in the original Stepfather. But, I can’t say that I expected much. As an audience, we’ve been brow beaten into expecting nothing from horror anymore. Cheap scares, no imagination and lack of tits has taken any excitement out of a genre that used to breed the most hardcore fans. When you can’t enjoy a maniac tearing through some innocent victims, then where does the discriminating horror fan turn? I say that you crack open your old copies of the Stepfather films and return to a better time. When horror was horror and a shitty domestic thriller was left to the TV-Movie circuit. 

Mrs. Schuester is looking bangable.

The Package


a commentary from Dylan Walsh, Penn Badgley and the director. There’s a couple of featurettes about the production that really don’t go past EPK material. There’s also a gag reel and a collection of promotional spots. What’s even more annoying is how Sony includes an episode of The Bannen Way as a means of trying to cross-promote their DTV and Crackle ventures with unrelated DVD titles. Won’t someone teach these guys about synergy?!? It’s the lifeblood of the industry, people!

3.6 out of 10