The Stepfather - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Stepfather Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 17, 2013
Before he was marooned on a desolate island, Terry O'Quinn was a fiendishly vile serial killer who targeted widows and their suspicious children. The brilliance of 'The Stepfather' is the subversive nature of the screenplay insofar as the antagonists' motives are ultraconservative (his 'Father Knows Best' desire is a nuclear family with strong moral fiber who don't spout profanity and profess unflappable respect for their elders) and his victims could be construed as the immoral ones. Stephanie is a rebellious teenager who is undergoing therapy whereas Jerry is the distilled image of normalcy- a halcyon role model with a thriving real-estate career who socially invites his friends to neighborly cookouts due to his generosity. The race-against-the-clock element of Blakes' ex-brother-in-law narrowing down his location is a goosebump-inducing nail-biter. Soliloquizing to himself in the basement and violently smashing his wooden crafts like a frothing madman, the stupendous character actor O'Quinn can quickly transpose his fury for imperfections into a smiling, supportive bread-winner within seconds. When Blake switches the envelope photographs of himself for another suspect, his deviousness is incontrovertible. On the downside, the soundtrack in the slasher finale can be a tad strident but it is a minuscule sacrifice for an otherwise astute, irreverent rollercoaster that reverses the sanctity-of-family convention.
½ August 19, 2013
Well I liked this one I now see this verison and the newer verison I like this one much better then the newer one this is when movies were good
August 13, 2013
It's very 80's in terms of style with the soundtrack the foremost aspect of this period in movie-making, however the terror-situation created more than stands the test of time and even has moments of sympathy including for the psychopathic killer.
May 20, 2013
A decent thriller which unfortunately follows formula in the last half-hour. It's better than most others in the genre due to the fine performance from Terry O'Quinn (best known as John Locke in Lost).
He plays a man so obsessed with the American Dream-type family he'll stop at nothing to get it, finding relationships with divorcees and widows with children and then murdering them when things start to go awry.
It's refreshing to see a slasher-type film where a bit of attention has been put into characterisation, it's just a shame it falls into clicheville in the final third.
½ May 2, 2013
Terry O' Quinn stars as The Stepfather!
½ January 22, 2013
There are things that progress as usual but on the most part, despite an obvious outcome this is an unsettling Horror and held together by one big performance. Terry O'Quinn is exceptional as "Jerry Blake", giving us one of Cinema's most unstable and interesting psychopaths.
January 22, 2013
The Stepfather trilogy are among the most exalting and psychologically disturbing horror films of the 80s, and very well may have the ability to disturb young children of divorced parents to the point of excess. Terry O'Quinn assumes the role of the psychopathic stepfather, instilling an uncomfortable scenario for any young child, or family for that matter. One must assume that there existed a generation of weary horrified children during the 80s, watching The Stepfather in complete distress. Unlike the lousy remake, The Stepfather is a pure horror film that plants itself and hides in the deepest darkest corners of the unconscious.
November 3, 2012
A very good classic.
½ October 9, 2012
What really draws you into the film is the story; it can and has happened in real life. The Stepfather was loosely based on a man, John List, who killed his family in 1971, and was on the run until 1989. Even hitting closer to home, the original cinematographer was arrested in a domestic dispute, but was replaced by John Lindley.

The Stepfather plays on our real fears and director Joseph Ruben mostly plucks the right strings to make us think, ?Are we really safe with the people we love??.
October 5, 2012
Terry O'Quinn's less famous role as Jerry Blake. Great lines- real demented bad guy. A must see.
½ September 26, 2012
We just need a little order around here...
August 23, 2012
reminded me of will forte
August 21, 2012
Evenly scary and gory, The Stepfather is better left alone than to make a sequel/ remake/ reboot. It's a cult classic, leave it alone!
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2012
A classic scary movie starring a younger Terry O'Quinn long before he played John Locke on Lost. O'Quinn is an amazing villain, and his performance makes the movie creepy from start to finish.
July 24, 2012
Typical American Melodrama!
June 27, 2012
good 80's thriller though if it wasn't for o'quinn who is awesome in the lead I doubt it'll be half as good. he plays a man who murders his family then moves on to the next to start over again until he decides to murder them. the one main problem o had was the brother of the previous family what a waste of space he was
June 16, 2012
Terry O'Quinn is awsome in this movie. far superior to the remake.
½ June 2, 2012
Amazing film, Terry O' Quinn was brilliant as the utterly insane Jerry Blake. Such a great old film. O' Quinn is completely deranged in this and he does it in such an eerie fashion. The iconic "who am I here" scene in the kitchen is brilliant, he really is nuts and totally loses track of his different lives. A true 80s gem that should be seen by all fans of horror (although it's not really horror) and certainly fans of O' Quinn, like me.

To try and justify this film in your head, you can almost and I use that word loosely emphasise with Jerry, clearly he had a rough childhood and family life and is striving to be the knight in shining armour for a widow but due to his insanity it all unravels and he is left with (in his mind) the only option, slaughter them and move on. Kind of poetic in a quantifiably insane way.
½ May 29, 2012
Terry O'Quinn plays the perfect psychopath in this unsettling thriller. Moving from one victim to next and changing his identity with every new family he meets. It leaves you asking the question, Who am I here?
Super Reviewer
½ May 28, 2012
An 80's slasher that is surprisingly restrained until the end. O'Quinn is brilliant in the title role and if you're only familiar with him in 'Lost' then it's definitely worth checking out his performance here. The rest of the cast are so so and there are some silly plot issues along the way but whenever O'Quinn's on screen you forgive the film anything. Great creepy opening scene and violent murder in a show house. An enjoyable 80's movie.
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