THE STEPFATHER is a far better than usual crime/horror drama that is like a fictionalized version of an AMERICA'S MOST WANTED episode. In fact, AMERICA'S MOST WANTED even proudly featured this movie in a mention a few months ago. Dylan Walsh plays a disturbed, but handsome young husband who brutally murders his entire family, but then seeks to replace that family with a new one. As usual, Sela Ward is a fine actress here, playing a single mother who falls for new man in her life, not realizing his past. However, some neighbors and her son all have serious concerns about her new man, claiming that he sure looks like a criminal that was featured on AMERICA'S MOST WANTED. Why no good photos, only police sketches exist of the family murderer is a good question. But you need to suspend a little disbelief here.
Critics generally didn't like this remake of the 1987 cult film classic by the same name, but they seem to have missed the point that this movie is more like an extended AMERICA'S MOST WANTED segment in many ways. And besides, the young actress, Amber Heard, looks pretty good in a bikini or underwear anyway if you don't like the story very much.
And, hey kids, "daddy's home" will take on a whole different meaning after watching this unsettling show. And overall, THE STEPFATHER is real entertaining and a decent enough film. And the acting is certainly good enough with good actors like Dylan Walsh and Sela Ward.
The Bottom Line: A pretty fair and effective film or three stars +++(good).