The Stepfather | Chicago Reader

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Horror, Suspense/Thriller
Whereas the 1987 horror hit The Stepfather was top-notch drive-in fare, this perfunctory retread has a tame, made-for-TV feel, and not just because the humdrum cast is composed of network and cable B-listers. Desperate divorcee Sela Ward (House M.D.) mistakes itinerant psycho Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) for a good catch, but her hunky son Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl) gets a bad vibe from the smarmy control freak. As the latter’s shapely girlfriend, Amber Heard is too busy modeling bikinis to generate much of an opinion. Gutting Donald Westlake’s tight original script, rewrite man J.S. Cardone manifests an obsession with cell phone-driven suspense; director Nelson McCormick dutifully works the cat scares and fright chords. PG-13, 101 min.
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Director: Nelson McCormick
Writer: Brian Burns
Producer: Will Ferrell
Cast: Dylan Walsh, Sela Ward, Penn Badgley, Amber Heard, Sherry Stringfield, Paige Turco, Jon Tenney, Nancy Linehan Charles, Marcuis Harris and Braeden Lemasters

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