Directed By: Nelson McCormick
Written By: J.S. Cardone;
Based on a earlier screenplay By: Donald E. Westlake;
Story By: Carolyn Lefcourt & Brain Garfield & Donald E. Westlake
Cinematography By: Patrick Cady
Editor: Eric L. Beason
CAST: Dylan Walsh, Penn Badgley, Amber Heard, Sela Ward, Sherry Stringfield, Paige Turco, Jon Tenney
Michael Harding returns home from military school to find his mother Susan happily in love and living with her new boyfriend David. As the two men get to know each other, he becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand.
By now it should be well known that I am not the biggest fan of remakes especially of films that don’t need remaking because they are still watchable and not rally bad not that the original movie is some sort of classic but there were plenty of ways to change the story or inject some original ideas into the film to make it at least a better reimagining, but of course the filmmakers don’t take that opportunity.
Instead of getting a actual good director or a good screenplay to improve on the bad aspects of the original and accentuate what was good. They instead made a get rich quick type of film. That aims at the teen demographic which humor me by wanting the most authentic and pure form of everything and think older people are fake yet accept in authentic plastic entertainment like this film. Which is soulless yet tries to give it’s audience and demographic what it believes they want. The film would have been better as a psychological thriller instead of a out and out slasher film
The film has recognizable TV Stars as the parents a TV Teen star as the star who looks bored like he doesn’t want to be in the film. He knows how bad and/or stupid this is but he needs a paycheck.
Penn Badgley’s character has a hot girlfriend who never wears a full outfit that’s actually not a complaint Amber heard kept me interested in this film I her states of undress, but no nudity.
The film had a chance to make it seem like this man is coming undone due to the rivalry of being the man of the house with his stepson instead the film just lets us know he is a psychopath from the beginning instead of letting the tension and situations build to more of a reveal.
The implied violence because graphic violence would make it R Rated. Which might have livened up the film. Since long passages of nothing happen. Then trying to amp up scenes with scary moments which are usually just false scares.
In It’ own way it is shocking with it’s light material then showing dead children later on, But they are passed over so quick it never really sticks to your memory. Which can also be said about the film.
The stepfather works really quick since we see him in a new life seduce a mother then jump to six months later and he has already insolated himself in a new family we have never seen before.
Dylan Walsh is actually a good inspired choice for the role he has a demented yet passive look. The script though lets him down many times.
It amazes me in these films the killers or villains are so indestructible and that other characters who receive the same type of punishment die or go into comas while the villains just keep coming back and can escape.
Here he is stabbed and is still charging like a bull full of energy then at the end him and a character suffer a similar fate the other character gets into a coma. The Stepfather then can just walk away. In other films people die from single stab wounds in internal organs. He is stabbed in the neck and is still running around doing his crimes al over again.