The Stepfather

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The Independent Culture

It's astonishing to think that the thrillers of the 1980s are now deemed insufficiently bland and glossy for mainstream audiences, but it's true. In May we had Obsessed, a (12A)-rated copy of Fatal Attraction, and now we have a plastic, production-line remake of 1987's The Stepfather – with no blood, no swearing, no sex, and no violence – that wouldn't be at home in an episode of Poirot. I'm not even sure why it deserves a 15 certificate, except for all the gratuitous shots of Amber Heard in an itsy-bitsy bikini.

Anyway, Dylan Walsh stars as a serial killer – this Stepfather remake excises any ambiguity on that matter at the start – who moves in with a gullible divorcée and her three children. Every time someone opens a door, looks through a window, or even turns around, Walsh is standing there, and a stab of music informs you that you're supposed to be scared. You won't be.

The Stepfather, Nelson McCormick, 101 mins, 15

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