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It’s no secret that ‘today’s Hollywood’ enjoys cashing in with gory horror remakes of yesteryear’s cult slasher films (see Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)); however, director Nelson McCormick chose to reduce much of the violence and focus on character interaction in his remake of The Stepfather.
Much like the original, this film is straight forward with the plot: a man moves around in search of the perfect family. Once the family he becomes involved with shows signs of being, well, human, he murders them, changes his appearance, and moves across the country in search of a new family.
Unlike the original, this film has a sense of great simplicity to it. The good characters and bad characters are clearly spelled out leaving little room for error. In doing so, the majority of the characters are both naive and stereotypical.
While the violence has been toned down greatly, McCormick is able to retain a few scenes of tension due to the convincing performances of the stepfather and the oldest son (Dylan Walsh and Penn Badgley). Though this film lacked in character development, plot and amount of violence, it is an enjoyable watch for those not in search of an engaging complex film.