Monday, January 11, 2010

The Stepfather (2009) Review

The Stepfather (2009) Directed by Nelson McCormick

When David moves in with the family of the woman he's dating, her children begin to suspect that there's something strange about him. He keeps mysterious cabinets locked up in the basement. He's very strict, and quick to use physical force as discipline. He can't seem to keep his stories straight when it comes to his past. Is he just a little weird, or is he a serial killer on the loose?

Actually, it's the latter. We know this because we watch him kill his former family during the opening credits. So after immediately losing any chance at suspense, the directors let the plot slowly unfold exactly as we expect it to over the remaining hour and half.

Michael is a teen spending the summer away from military school, where he was sent for reasons which we never quite learn. He returns home to find his mother dating David, who has moved in mere months after meeting her. Michael immediately hates his new stepfather, of course, and spends his time listening to his headphones and crying or hanging around with his girlfriend, whose wardrobe apparently consists of nothing but bikinis and underwear. The crazy neighborhood cat lady suspects that David is actually a serial killer that she saw on the news, and lo and behold, she's right. It's the wet dream of every sullen teenager - a legitimate reason to hate your stepfather! You can guess where it goes from here.

There is really nothing interesting or redeeming about this film. Every slasher cliche is fulfilled completely and without shame. The killer effortlessly dispatches every minor character who calls his origins into question. The family runs into the attic (?) to escape the crazed killer. If this wasn't enough, we're treated to countless plot holes and gaps in logic. The stepfather keeps the basement meticulously guarded and installs multiple padlocks on the closets where he stores the effects of his victims, yet leaves a corpse in an unlocked deep freezer. Two teens hiding in an upper-story bedroom closet somehow manage to escape to the outdoor pool as the evil stepfather approaches. If there's one thing I hate, it's a movie that assumes I won't be thinking as I watch it. This film gave me no credit as a viewer.

I probably would not have seen this had it not been the only thing playing at the cheap theater that I hadn't seen, and as a result it's going to be a while before I willingly sit through another cookie-cutter PG-13 slasher. Avoid this monotonous piece of trash at all costs.

0 / 10

Pros: Nothing.
Cons: Everything.

1 comment:

Meetu2nyte said...

Loved the film - better than the original- Dylan and Penn knock it out of the park!