The Stepfather 2009 Movie Scene Dylan Walsh as David Harris meeting his next victims in the supermarket

The Stepfather [2009]

Another day, another remake of a popular eighties movie. The trend is showing no signs of stopping so we better strap in for another wave of these remakes. The Stepfather 2009 edition is a forgettable and yet quite watchable thriller. It features solid performances, excellent production values, and a familiar story. I think you can already guess what it is just by looking at the title. So, if you’re expecting another cult classic, you won’t find it here. If, however, you’re looking to kill some time by watching something cozy and mildly engaging, you will be pleased.

The main components of the story are quite potent and relatable. They stem from the eighties obsession with suburb crime, this contrast between a peaceful neighborhood and a vicious serial killer. Something to make all the white ladies in the audience go oh my gosh. And the killer is revealed during the opening scene! Yes, we know this is a bad guy since he looks over the bodies of his victims quite casually. And then he leaves the house in search of his next victims.

So, we’ve got ourselves The Hand That Rocks The Cradle situation here. The Stepfather 2009 didn’t want to upset the viewers too much though. There will be no graphic violence, no nudity, or anything like that. Although there will be a couple of steamy scenes involving Amber Heard. She seems to be really good in these roles but I do want to see her in something a bit serious. I think she has it in her to do much, much more. And I’m not saying that just because she’s hot. Dylan Walsh was solid as the eponymous stepfather along with Sela Ward who was born to play these roles. 

David Harris just changed his appearance in the bathroom of a house he left in no hurry. Behind him remained the bloody bodies of his wife and children. Sometime later, we meet David again, this time in a grocery store where he seduces a single mother without any issues. Deviously charming he says to her that his family was killed in a car accident and gets away with it. And so the clock starts ticking for Susan Harding and her kids. Will they survive their encounter with this incredibly dangerous man?

The Stepfather suffers from the usual mainstream cinema compromises. Illogical decision-making bothered me the most but not to the point where I would stop watching this movie. On the plus side, some of the scenes were really suspenseful and it was intriguing to see just how this psychopath manages to remain undetected for so long.

Director: Nelson McCormick

Writers: J.S. Cardone, Donald E. Westlake, Carolyn Lefcourt

Cast: Dylan Walsh, Sela Ward, Penn Badgley, Amber Heard, Sherry Stringfield

Fun Stuff: The original movie from 1987 features a young step-daughter increasing the disturbing dynamic within the family. The Stepfather from 2009 changes that and shifts attention to step-son’s girlfriend played by Amber Heard.


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