The Stepfather (1987)
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 3,079
Terry O'Quinn plays The Stepfather in this intelligent, unsettling chiller. We'd tell you O'Quinn's character name, but he has so many. You see, O'Quinn has been a stepfather many times over, romancing and marrying widowed women in several different states. After each wedding, everything is blissful -- at least, until O'Quinn's new wife and kids fail to measure up to his notions of perfection. Then he kills them en masse, and moves on to his next victims. Shelley Hack and Jill Schoelen co-star
Jan 23, 1987 Wide
Feb 9, 2010
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Don S. Sargent
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An engrossing suspense thriller that refreshingly doesn't cheat the audience in terms of valid clues and plot twists.
One is left longing for Hitchcock's dark, daring wit and disturbingly amoral insights.
While I was watching the film, I was distracted by elements of the Idiot Plot Syndrome -- moments when only an idiot would have made such obvious mistakes.
The styling is never less than assured, and [director] Ruben knows how to put bland, unruffled surfaces to sinister Hitchcockian uses.
May be the best movie about the breakup of a family since Shoot the Moon.
That's really all the movie needs to work: a sublime villain, with tight, driven direction, perfectly sturdy, effective writing, and a heroine who we can believe in.
The key to this movie is O'Quinn as the title character. He's a scary bastard, and as an actor he commits to the role.
The Stepfather works for American Eagle Realty, and the company logo pegs him as both a patriot and a predator. 'It's like living with Ward Cleaver,' his stepdaughter complains, not knowing that the 'cleaver' reference could be another pun...
...ultimately manages to overcome its almost aggressively uneven atmosphere to establish itself as a solid little '80s thriller.
The Stepfather is the full package: fast-paced, well-acted, suspenseful and brimming with bursts of nasty violence.
Ruben's surprisingly resonant and durable tale ... cannily reflects, in a larger way, the era of its creation
Just when it looked like slasher movies were wholly irredeemable, director Joseph Ruben came along to prove there is some intelligent life in this otherwise bereft subgenre.
The Stepfather makes use of a classic fairy tale device--the false parent--but it turns out to have a powerful effect upon one's involvement with the characters.
Borrowing from Hitchcock (Shadow of a Doubt) and Kubrick (The Shining), Ruben's elegant, darkly humorous tale deconstructs patriarchy and can't be divorced from the Republican family values that dominated the 1980 with their 1950s retro feel.
One of the classiest thrillers to never come out of Hollywood
An inventive, overlooked, classic slasher film from the 80's.
Thankfully, director Rubens doesn't take advantage of every opportunity for cheap thrills and gore.
A wonderful horror film because the people are so ordinary
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Latest News on The Stepfather
November 12, 2007:Screen Gems' Stepfather Remake Adds Names
If you've been clinging to the hope that Screen Gems' announced remake of The Stepfather was some...
September 11, 2007:Nelson McCormick Signs on to Direct Stepfather Remake
Apparently, Screen Gems was serious about doing that remake of The Stepfather.