The Stepfather

  • Film
  • Horror films
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This above-average domestic slasher derives a modicum of interest from the script's discreet, if unoriginal, reworking of Hitchcockian motifs and situations. Teenage Stephanie happily shares her Seattle home with her young widowed mother until Jerry Blake (O'Quinn) appears out of the blue to court and marry mom. Steph's natural jealousy soon turns into outright suspicion when she is led to believe that he is in fact a psychokiller with a history of changed identities and previous slaughtered families who had failed him somehow. An over-emphatic score, heavy symbolism, and the inevitable Steadicam stuff are thankfully countered by an admirable lack of gore. But while O'Quinn is effectively scary, one is left longing for Hitchcock's dark, daring wit and disturbingly amoral insights.

Release details

Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joseph Ruben
Screenwriter: Donald E Westlake
Cast: Charles Lanyer
Terry O'Quinn
Stephen Shellen
Shelley Hack
Jill Schoelen
Stephen E Miller
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