Now, I’m all for stupid horror movies. In fact, stupid horror movies are pretty much my whole life. I like my fair share of the mix ranging from the supernatural to the slasher genre, but this movie, even for me was just too much. I wasn’t going into it with too many high expectations, but rather, a love for Dylan Walsh. I know that’s just setting myself up for failure but I did it anyway. Considering I torrented it, I figured “eh, why not? Got nothin’ to lose” so I watched it. Dignity. Self-respect. Love for Sean McNamara. Yeah, I lost all these things over the 90 some minute running time of The Stepfather.
First of all, we’re in the remake category, meaning an easy PG-13. I knew not to expect too much in the way of gore and even though I checked out the “unrated director’s cut” those things are rarely much different. I knew blood was going to be a sacrifice, but I was willing to let that one go for at least a decent story. Well, it may be a little too harsh to say that this movie had no right to be made, but it does make you wonder. I mean, it was clearly a marketing draw when casting Penn Badgley because lord knows he isn’t a good actor, but I thought I’d be able to get over it over the course of the movie. Well, if you can’t tell by now, I’ll just outright say it. I didn’t get over it and even though I slept on it, yeah, I’m still pretty pretty pissed.
Still, one of the weirdest changes that I thought I’d be able to dismiss in the remake was just unforgivable. Yeah, the main character in the original? A girl. It served a purpose to have a girl being the protagonist because it added all this weird, creepy sexual dimension to it. It gives the movie purpose and an actual point to it. The original seems to be a commentary on the American dream and the nuclear family. If that’s the case, what’s the point of this remake? It certainly didn’t serve the same purpose. In fact, it was one of the most passive movie-watching experiences for me. It didn’t seem to have anything to say other than “insert cash here.” Still, I don’t know those changes should surprise me as Hollywood’s already proven its willingness to do anything for a buck.
But the passivity of watching this movie is truly unforgivable. I never thought I’d say this about a movie with so little blood, but this movie showed too much. There’s no tension because you know who’s doing what at all times. Even the very first death scene is just shot with a regular wide angle, with everyone in sight. I mean, sure, you know from the beginning who the killer is, but does that mean you need to show it every time? How about a nice point-of-view shot, the staple of the horror film? How about anything besides the flat, dimensionless images that are presented kill scene after kill scene? There could have been tension in this movie, but instead, it’s honestly, just plain boring. That was my main issue with it, I think. It wasn’t that it was bad, although it certainly isn’t winning any awards, but it was boring and seemed content to be boring.