February 6, 2010
Do Not Want- The Stepfather (2009)
Another pointless remake, The Stepfather is a glossy, stylized, well casted movie that lacks just about everything that made the original so damned awesome.
As far as remakes go, it's near impossible to remake anything that's really stylized or iconic, because you just can't capture that kind of lightning twice. In this case, that missing lightning is painfully apparent with the absence of Terry O'Quinn. There is an intensity and a creepy aire of underlying menace that lives inside of Terry O'Quinn, and he can emote them beautifully and effortlessly when he needs to. Subtly even. Trying to replace him with the guy from Nip Tuck is just not anywhere near the same level. No offense to the Nip Tuck guy, he's pretty good on that show, but here he just isn't enough. Then again, only one guy truly could be.
Amber Heard is always good, as are Sela Ward, Paige Turco and Jon Tenney too, but here they are working with very little along the lines of good material, which pretty much renders them useless and left to spin their wheels.
You could argue that the only reason that the 1987 original was so effective, was because of Terry O'Quinn alone. He pretty much makes LOST perfect for me every week, and it's because he seems so damned likable and sweet, and yet he can switch on a dime to dangerous and creepy. Just look at the picture below.
See what I mean?
In short, this remake lacks the thrills and tension needed to make the story a good watch. It's got jump scares, and an evil main character that's hard to fear and believe in, which make it even worse. Maybe if there had been no original, and if it hadn't been so good on its own... but there was. You should really just go rent that.