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Mood / Atmosphere
Feels like a Lifetime movie.
2009 Remake of The Stepfather, starring Dylan Walsh. The film was everything the original Stepfather wasn't. In my opinion the spirit of Terry O'Quinns Stepfather was just not captured here at all. I would not watch again.
The Stepfather is about a delusional man with old fashion family values with absolutely no room for error. Should you disappoint him he may just re-paint your cute little house in your blood!
I just want to start off with saying that I really liked the original version of The Stepfather. So like with any remake I watch, especially if I liked the original I am going to watch with a critical eye. I don’t expect a remake to be an exact copy of its original predecessor, because that would just kinda be pointless. But what I do expect in a remake is for it to capture the essence of the original and not go off to much of its originality or add to much or take from the main character in the remake.
For example of this, Rob Zombies remakes. So with that being said, I would say the film held true to the story, right down to how the original started out. Man kills current family and is changing his identity and ready to move on to the next poor victims family. Also, the fact that they kept this Stepfather in the realtor business was a plus too. But not for long, as he starts to get nervous when they insist that he fill out his paperwork for tax purposes etc.
Now for what I didn’t like about this movie, the fact that they didn’t include the
creepy little whistling jingle “camptown lady sing this song do da, do da”.
I mean come on now, that was such a huge factor to the Stepfather in the original
its what helped to make him so eerily creepy and somewhat charming at the same time.
That’s like taking the “ki,ki,ki.. ma, ma, ma” out of Friday the 13th. So for me in my opinion that was a big disappointment.
I also didn’t think that this Stepfather was very convincing in his moments of rage and agitated phases. I just wasn’t feeling the “oh shit” factor when he would get upset. I also didn’t think he captured that villianistic charm or the evil smoothness of situations when they would go bad. Not like Terry O’Quinns version. I thought the prepping of the plans to kill this family and move on again was a bit bland also. Its like, well let me call the newspaper company and cancel my subscription because in doing that no one will be able to track me down. WTF? lol
He just popped in some colored contacts and shaved and thought, “no one will find me”. Terry O’Quinn’s version of the Stepfather was just much more believable and way more intense.
Finally, even though the movie lead you to believe he was changing the color of his hair, it didn’t look any different to me. So things like that in the movie seemed really silly in my opinion. It wouldn’t have if it were more believable and had some real conviction to back it. I also think there were just to many kids in this family to keep track of. Originally, the Stepfather tended to seek out single mothers with one child. Which worked better I think. But I don’t want to give to much away in case no one has seen this film yet. It is worth a watch despite the lack of intensity and flaws of the main character.
If you like Lifetime suspense movies then this is the movie for you! Kinda has that feel to it I think.
Dylan Walsh as David Harris
Sela Ward as Susan Harding
Penn Badgley as Michael Harding
Amber Heard as Kelly Porter