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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

‘The Stepfather’ more predictable than scary

Halloween is right around the corner and what’s better than a horror movie to celebrate the holiday? If you’re counting on the latest horror flick “The Stepfather” to do the trick, though, I could suggest a few other things to do.

Released Oct. 16, “The Stepfather” is a remake of the 1987 cult classic of the same name. This adaptation was directed by Nelson McCormick (who also directed the 2008 remake “Prom Night”) and stars Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) as the stepfather, David Harris.

In the first scene, audiences realize that David Harris (Walsh) is not who he seems. He is actually a crazed serial killer who has a thing for offing divorced women and their children when they do not live up to his high expectations.

Shortly after one of his massacres, David meets a woman in an Oregon grocery store named Susan Harding, played by Sela Ward. Susan is wooed by his charm – so much so that six months later they are engaged and living together.

Seemingly, everyone falls in love with David as much as Susan has. He comes off as a typical good guy until Susan’s troubled oldest son Michael (Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley) comes home from military boarding school. He is the first to notice something strange about his new stepfather.

Stepdad’s questionable behavior includes not carrying an I.D. and paying for everything in cash. He hates taking photos and his job requires him to travel a lot.

When you add his locked cabinets in the basement into the equation, Stepdad seems a little creepier. Also, he can’t offer any proof about his past. If that’s not suspicious then what is?

The Stepfather is like any other movie in the horror/thriller genre: it’s predictable. There’s always creeper music playing and you can usually tell when the Stepfather is going to pop up.

The 1987 version was rated R, but the remake is PG-13. An R-rating might have upped the ante for the remake, or at least made it more entertaining with some extra blood or gore.

The whole movie mostly consists of Penn Badgley’s character in a pool with his girlfriend (Amber Heard) talking about how he thinks something is up with mom’s new boyfriend. Boring.

Almost every other scene of the movie features Badgley and Heard swimming in a pool. Badgley’s looks in swim trunks could be the sole reason he was ever cast in the movie. He’s bland whenever he has clothes on.

Actually, he’s pretty bland in the swim trunks, too.

Walsh makes for a creepy villain. He isn’t necessarily scary, but he’s definitely a creepy old man — particularly when he pops up every time Badgley and Heard are making out. Besides that, some of the more interesting scenes involve David. Mostly the scenes where he kills people.

Up until the last thirty minutes of the movie, you probably could take a bathroom break, refill your popcorn, check your text messages and still know what is going on with the flick.

Skip the theaters on this one and wait to rent.

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