Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Stepfather: A Review

To start off my daily horror film review, I've chosen one of my favourite horror films, The Stepfather. Though it was remade last year, the one I'm talking about is the 1987 original, starring Terry O'Quinn aka JOHN LOCKE FROM LOST! The trailer is pretty uninspiring but definitely elludes to the slow-burning story and of course, Terry O'Quinn's fantastic acting.
The basic premise of this film is that a man is able to prey on vulnerable single mothers, easing himself into the role of a stepfather in the hopes of recreating the "perfect family". Of course, nothing can ever live up to his expectations, leading to the unpleasant demise for all the families he is a part of, as he finally snaps and moves on to greener pastures. The film focuses on one particular family and the stepfather's decent into madness. Will the family escape him with their lives? You'll have to watch and find out!

This film boasts one of the most chilling opening sequences I have ever seen on screen. Unlike most horror films where you see a murder happen within the first five minutes, to draw you in and give you that initial rush, this film does so in a much scarier way. To watch someone literally go through the motions of washing, and shaving and packing with his chilling calmness gets me every time. I managed to find the opening on Youtube, you can watch it safe that there are no spoilers, it's literally the opening of the film:
See what I mean?! The way he picks up the toys like his kid has just left them there before he went off to school, the whistling as he goes down the street, it's just INSANELY GOOD. Now you have to watch this son of a bitch for two hours wondering when he's going to strike next!

The film also has a great supporting cast, everyone is believable in their roles and the daughter is charming, though part of a questionable shower scene considering how old she is meant to be. Even with the remake, this film stands the test of time. Who out there hasn't ever wondering if their stepfather was a seriel killer? This film really is a forgotten gem. I see a lot of American Psycho in it, with a seemingly normal guy, who has it all, having these terrible urges.

I also like to view this film as a commentary on middle class suburban (particularly American) life. Everyone wants to be perfect with kids who behave and do well in school and you all sit around having block parties, but in the end you're all hiding your flaws, everyone has secrets! And that's just one of the things you're left to think about when the credits roll!

I watched this film for free with my LoveFilm subscription, I'm sure it's still up there. It's also available to buy on DVD, everywhere I imagine after the remake came out. The film also spawned a pretty good sequel 'The Stepfather II', though I would give 'The Stepfather III' a miss (probably because it lacks Terry O'Quinn)!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a comment! They make my day xo