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YMMV / The Stepfather

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  • Complete Monster: Unlike the criminally insane original, the stepfather in the 2009 remake is a narcissist, who murders families he joins when they fail to meet his expectations. Already having killed at least two previous families, including their young children, the stepfather seduces single mother, Susan Harding and becomes engaged to her. Killing anyone who delves into his past to keep up his façade, the stepfather murders Susan's elderly neighbor, her ex-husband and her sister. After Susan's eldest son, Michael, discovers the stepfather's murderous past, he declares the Harding family has failed him and tries to kill them all before moving on.
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  • Jerkass Woobie: The stepfather, in the original at least. He's absolutely sincere in his desire to build a "perfect family" and genuinely heartbroken when his relationship with Susan and Stephanie starts to fall apart. It's hard not to sympathize with him somewhat, at least until he completely snaps and decides that Murder Is the Best Solution. The remake averts it by making him a complete asshole with no redeeming or sympathetic features.
  • Narm:
    • The "turn the volume down" line from the remake.
    • The "Who Am I Here?" scene in the remake is extremely funnier when he goes after the dumbass who just pieces together that he was a murderer after being told repeatedly about his suspiciousness.
  • Rooting for the Empire: At least in the original and in Stepfather II. Terry O'Quinn's charming and likable performance can make the viewer forget that his character is a crazed serial killer. The Cinema Snob even pointed that out in his reviews of both films.
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  • So Bad, It's Good: Stepfather III is considered the poorest of the films, where everybody seems to have Took a Level in Dumbass in regards to similar characters in previous films, and the stepfather himself comes off as less of a charming sociopath and more of an obviously crazy lunatic, but people still find it entertaining in an ironic way for the same reasons. The one genuinely good thing people seem to like is Robert Wightman as the stepfather, as while he's no Terry O'Quinn, he still gives a good perfomance.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Stepfather II, and the remake.
  • Squick: Stepfather III used actual plastic surgery footage for when the stepfather gets his face altered.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • The first film had James "Jim" Ogilvie, an Amateur Sleuth Determinator Vigilante Man who hunts down the stepfather, but unfortunately, is killed by him just before the climax.
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    • The third film had Father Brennan, who helps Andy before becoming one of the stepfather's victims, and the stepfather himself, despite being played by The Other Darrin and had undergo Villain Decay.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: All that build and anticipation towards the final confrontation between The Stepfather and Jim Ogilvie has an anti-climatic payoff with The Stepfather just instantly killing him and Jim is all but forgotten in the next scene. The Cinema Snob pointed out how pointless all that build-up was since the confrontation didn't make the character important to the plot.
  • What an Idiot!: Susan in the remake, big time! You'd expect her to notice something's off with her fiance when the warning signs came up, as obvious as a blaring alarm, but nope. She just swats them off. It's to the point where you'd want her to die.

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