Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Stepfather(1987)

This movie is a thriller which is not widely known,but which is very entertaining mostly due to the good performance by Terry O' Quinn. There is going to be a remake this year so we will see what that turns out like. For the moment, I am going to concentrate on the original.

The film begins with a man(Terry O' Quinn) washing blood from himself before changing his appearance. He walks from the house he is in leaving a butchered family be
hind him. He has killed them and now he is leaving on the ferry. He throws off a suitcase into the water. A year later, he is working as a real estate agent and is called Jerry Blake and he marries a widower Susan(Shelley Hack).Susan's daughter, Stephanie(Jill Schoelen) doesn't trust Jerry and she won't warm to him at all, despite all of the nice things he does for her. He tries to talk to her about it but she still won't trust him. She gets expelled from school and she tries to convince her mother to send her to boarding school, but Jerry won't have the family divided.

In Seattle, Jim Ogilvie (Stephen Shellen), is trying to find out what happened to his sister who was married to Jerry before he killed her. Jerry sees an article written about the killings and he is worried. He goes down to his basement, muttering to himself and he goes a bit mad. Stephanie witnesses this but Jerry tells her he was just letting off steam. He walks off leaving Stephanie with the newspaper article. She becomes convinced that Jerry is the same guy who killed the other family. She sends away for a picture of the husband of the slain woman and Jerry gets to it first before she can see it. He puts in a different picture and Stephanie thinks she is wrong about him.

Stephanie's psychiatrist wants to meet Jerry to see what is going on between them. Jerry avoids him until the doctor pretends to be a client and he meets Jerry face to face. When Jerry finds out, he beats him to death. He makes it look like an accident when he puts the doctor in his car and blows it up. He tells Stephanie the next day about the doctor's death and he comforts her. The peace doesn't last long, though as Jerry sees her kissing a boy and he freaks out. He makes wild accusations against the boy and he fights with Susan and Stephanie. He decides he needs to go and he quits his job and starts creating a new identity for himself. He starts to court a new woman. He applies for a new job. Jim Oglivie has discovered where Jerry is living. He talks to Susan and she calls Jerry's office only to find out that he has left the job. When he returns home, he tries to explain. He can't though and his world comes crashing down. He attacks Susan and thinking she is dead, he waits patiently for Stephanie to arrive home. She is in the shower and Jerry is getting ready to kill her when Jim knocks on the door. Jerry attacks Jim and Stephanie attacks Jerry. He chases her upstairs and corners her before falling through the floor. He recovers and lunges at Stephanie again before being shot by Susan. He is supposedly dead and the last scene has Susan knocking down a birdhouse that Jerry had made for her. I liked this movie as it was well-acted and had some good thrills.
I would recommend it for anyone who likes a thriller. I will give this one 8/10.


grotto said...

I remember this movie but hadn't put it together that it was Terry O'Quinn from "Lost". This was a creepy one and O'Quinn played it well.

Earpoke said...

Oh no, why are they wrecking all these classics with crappy remakes?

Amanda said...

Thanks for your comments. I agree that this should not be remade. Terry O'Quinn was brilliant in it and I don't think that I could imagine anyone else playing that part now!

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