“Who I’m I here?” That, is a good indictor that you need to get your butt out of the house. Retuning home from Military school Michael Harding is unnerved to find that his mom has a charming and charismatic live-in boyfriend, whom she is madly in love with. After a visit from the old cat lady, Michael gets a bit obsessed, with finding out the truth in what the old lady said. I mean Michael’s mom boyfriend is the ultimate nice guy and a quite possible an ideal Stepfather… what could go wrong?
Well for starters the film is a remake. I’ve not seen the original or the two sequels, so I can’t comment very much on those films. However, the film is a bit slow, so you may look at your watch from time to time, especially at the slower moments. For those who haven’t seen the original stepfather trilogy, they may find themselves at a bit of a disadvantage. Going from the commentary and extras, they were trying to follow the older Stepfather films. In my opinion they tried to mix and match too much. I did like the film’s slow pace and high-tension moments. Lucky for the studio, the film’s tension, score, and the acting skills from Badgley and Walsh are what save the film from being a total walkout.
Danger may live closer then you think, but the Blu-ray release is harmless I assure you. Lucky for you, Sony have given the blood soaked treatment to The Stepfather in the area of audio and video, can’t say much for the supplements. Fans of the original, you might be a bit disappointing, the film desperately tried to follow the footsteps, but failed in the way. You may want to rent this one out for movie night. Other than that, that’s about all I can tell you. I enjoy a good suspense flick, but this lived more on the previous film than standout on its own.
The Stepfather slices its way on to Blu-ray with a nice film like 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 2.40:1. There is a thin layer of grain, which helps give a pretty film like appearance. Colors are strong, yet blacks tend to suffer in some scenes as they are a bit bright. Skin looks too good to be true, from Michael’s girlfriend to the stepfather himself, every perfection and imperfection is shown. There are some scenes that may appear soft, but it’s rare and you were probably had to be looking for it. I have to say Sony has been doing a great job on their transfers, whether they were hit or miss in theaters.
The Stepfather’s audio was fun, I will admit. The Stepfather is presented with a true to life DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. In the opening moments of the film, the stepfather turns on the radio, which gets louder (accurately) as he turns up the volume. The song seems to hunt the front and back of the surround speaker and mimics the tension of the scene as the stepfather moves about the house. Another is at the way end the film, where there is a huge clap of thunder and the rain feels as if its surrounding you.
Now we get to my favorite part of the audio track, the score by Charlie Clouser (SAWI-VI). No matter what scene you’re in the music seams to just float about. Whether it makes an entrance or makes a soft getaway. The score with the other music in the film never hogs the surround sound; instead it fills the room nicely, allowing you to hear the dialog beautifully. The end song by filter is a perfect example, the song is there and you can hear what is being said in the film’s final dialog. It’s a nice track.
The extras for this release of The Stepfather are well… sad. PS3 owners, however, will find a nice surprise if they go to the game section of their PS3, and follow the on screen instructions. First up is the Gag reel, this should be saved for, after you watch the film. Next up Commentary with Penn Badgley, Daylan Walsh, and Director Nelson McCormick, a neat commentary that’s both informative and fun to listen to. Open House: Making the Film, this covers just about all the different aspects of the film. Visualizing the Stunts, this feature, well… focuses on the stunts of the film, while there weren’t many, it was still was nice to see how all the stunts where pulled together. Also include are the films trailer and 6 TV ads, MovieIQ, the usual BD-Live, and 11 additional 1080p trailers from Sony.
This isn’t one of the best remakes, but it certainly is enjoyable. The film’s ending left me smiling from ear to ear, with a nod to a possible sequel. Fans of the original may want to rent this film before they buy it, or just watch the original Stepfather trilogy on DVD. For the people who liked what they saw in theaters, this is a buy. Again for those who missed this during its theatrical run, you may want to rent before you buy.