THE STEPFATHER

Suspenseful Thriller

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: October 16, 2009

Starring: Dylan Walsh, Sela Ward, Penn Badgley, Amber Heard, Paige Turco, Jon Tenney, and Sherry Stringfield

Genre: Thriller

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 110 minutes

Address Comments To:

Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Screen Gems/Provident
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000; Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/

Content:

(BB, C, Ro, FR, Ho, L, VVV, S, N, A, MM) Strong moral worldview as psychopathic killer is stopped and Nativity scenes is shown with “Silent Night” heard in background, but with Romantic elements where a mother says her life has meaning with new boyfriend, woman uses profanity when she says she does not care what religion or church her fiancée belongs to, and a homosexual element where minor character has a live-in lesbian girlfriend; three obscenities and six mostly strong profanities; very strong violence with woman thrown down stairs, man hit with vase, man stabbed with broken mirror along with blood, men fist fight and fall off roof, man is suffocated with plastic bag, woman is drowned, and woman hit by man; no sex scenes but engaged couple sleep in same bed and much kissing between college aged couple; upper male nudity, men in speedos at swimming competition, and main female character spends most of the time in a bikini or in underwear/pajamas; drinking of alcohol; no smoking or illegal drugs; and, deceit, evading justice, and woman takes sleeping pills.

Summary:

THE STEPFATHER is a thriller about a crazy man who befriends single moms only to marry them and then kill them. With much violence, implied sex, and other problematic elements, this movie requires both extreme caution and discernment.

Review:

THE STEPFATHER is a thriller about David, a crazy man who befriends single moms only to marry them and then kill them. Michael returns home from military school to discover this divorced mother is now engaged to David.

Michael’s suspicions grow that David may not be the loving man that he pretends to be. In a game of cat and mouse, Michael tries to figure out what’s happening, but David is often ahead of him. To cover his tracks, he kills the nosy neighbor and the ex-husband when they begin to question his past.

David does things to win Michael over to him. Then, Michael’s girlfriend, Kelly, encourages him to accept David.

Just when Michael is convinced David is okay, Michael finds an artist’s sketch on America’s Most Wanted’s web site of a serial killer that looks just like David. With this new information, Michael races to rescue his mom from the hands of the killer. The two end in a fight on the rooftop. In the end, the family is saved, but the crazy killer moves on to another family.

THE STEPFATHER is a well-made thriller that is somewhat small in scope. At the outset, viewers are shown that David is a psychopathic killer, and so the suspense is waiting to see how Michael will figure it out. At times, it seems as if this movie is more like a complicated episode of a police TV drama than a feature movie. Dylan Walsh portrays the crazy killer well, being convincing as a nice family man but revealing that there is something seething underneath.

While good does triumph in that the family is saved from being murdered, the murderer is not caught and brought to justice. Of course, this is a convenient set up for a sequel.

THE STEPFATHER contains much violence, including onscreen murders. Disturbing is what’s not discussed, which is a minor character having a live-in lesbian girlfriend and the fact that the single mom and her fiancée live in the same house and sleep in the same bed.

Much caution and discernment is required for those who may want to see this tension-filled thriller.

In Brief:

THE STEPFATHER is a thriller about David, a crazy man who befriends single moms only to marry them and then kill them. Michael returns home from military school to discover this divorced mother is engaged to David. Michael’s suspicions grow that David may not be the loving man he pretends to be. In a game of cat and mouse, Michael tries to figure out what’s happening, but David is often ahead of him. Michael races to rescue his mom from the hands of the killer.

THE STEPFATHER is a well-made thriller that is small in scope. At the outset, viewers are shown that David is a psychopathic killer and so the suspense is waiting to see how Michael will figure it out. Dylan Walsh portrays the crazy killer well, being convincing as a nice family man but revealing there is something seething underneath. While good does triumph in that the family is saved from being murdered, the murderer is not caught and brought to justice. Also, the movie contains much violence with onscreen murders, as well as homosexual characters. For a list of better, more worthwhile movies to see, please visit www.movieguide.org.