Story: The original stepfather is back, and after a daring escape from the psychiatric hospital, he’s ready to start a new family again. And by any mean necessary. He moves into a new town and starts a therapy practice, where he meets and sets his sights on recently divorced Carol Grayland. Things get complicated when Carol’s ex-husband and her best friend Matty stand in the way of his plans to get the family he’s always wanted.
The Film Itself: I’m very surprised by how decent this sequel is. Terry O’Quinn reprises his role as the original Stepfather from the first film, and is sinister in this film. His personality and constant shape shifting are captured here to perfection by director Jeff Burr. It only proves what a good actor he is. The beautiful Meg Foster (also of ‘They Live’) plays Carol, the woman the stepfather has his heart set on to complete his perfect family. The movie’s meant to play as a suspenseful thriller, but there are a few gory moments thrown in to add to the horror. In fact, as you’ll learn from the commentaries, it was a studio choice to make the film more ‘horror’ with these gory additions. (more on that in a few). Over all, this is a very good movie for fans of suspenseful dramas that throw in a touch of murder and mayhem.
Special Features: For a fairly inexpensive Miramax DVD release, there’s plenty of great special features included on this disc. There’s an excellent, informative commentary track by director Jeff Burr and producer Darin Scott. They both talk in great detail about how they approached the sequel, and give some tid-bits on their casting choices. For example, they didn’t want to do the film without Terry O’Quinn. And they mention how Meg Foster wasn’t the initial first choice for Carol. (they felt her eyes were too distracting!) Also interesting is how different the final film turned out compared to the film director Jeff Burr set out to make. His initial cut was a more suspenseful and less violent thriller. But, the studio re-cut the film with more scenes of gory violence to make this play more as a straight forward horror film. Included also are a handful of alternate scenes showing the differences in both cuts. The disc includes a still gallery and is presented in widescreen with surround sound. The picture is excellent. All in all, a highly recommended purchase. – robg.