The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

NMU CARES — President Brock Tessman shares his feelings on the universitys new CARE Team. Photo Courtesy of Northern Michigan University
Letter to the Editor — Our New CARE Team
Brock TessmanFebruary 23, 2024

‘Stepfather’ will torment filmgoers

Remakes are very prevalent in the horror genre. Some of the best horror films are remakes, such as John Carpenter’s “The Thing” or Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead.” Others are not so great and completely ruin the movie, much like Neil LaBute’s remake of the “The Wicker Man.” This time they missed big time and I am sure there’s a nice place in horror movie hell for “The Stepfather.”

Based off of the 1987 film, “The Stepfather” features David Harris (Walsh) a serial killer that targets recently divorced women with families. He marries them quickly, and lives with them until he goes crazy, then murders anyone that irritates him. He finds a new bride in Susan Harding, (Ward) and marries her within six months. Her son, Michael (Badgley), returns from military school, but he is not sure about his new stepfather. Harris begins to talk his new stepson into trusting him, but the cracks in Harris’ strained psyche begin to show and the family’s true father suspects that something is amiss. Odd circumstances, such as the neighbor’s untimely and suspicious death, makes Michael disagree with his girlfriend Kelly Potter (Amber Heard) that his stepfather may actually be a killer. As the family begins to figure out their new father’s evil intentions, they must hurry to stop him before he kills them all.

Walsh may be the only redeeming factor of this film, but that does not mean he was good. He does a mediocre job playing a maniac. His intensity is actually so great, he somehow manages to make his character come off as plain cheesy. Unfortunately, I have seen a couple episodes of “Gossip Girl,” and I have witnessed how bad Badgley’s acting is. The big screen is no place for an actor as talentless as him and this movie is a shining example of why. Although Heard is half naked for most of the film, she delivers the worst lines in the movie. Sela Ward is horrible, but most of her problems come from the horrid script. “Stepfather” has some of the worst dialogue I have ever heard and every actor suffers regardless of their acting ability.

While the story has a solid idea behind it, the filmmakers ruin any chance of this movie being entertaining. The first five minutes are actually very intriguing, but immediately after, the film takes a downward spiral. Every element of tension is ruined by the horrible music, and the numerous clichéd action sequences. No script should be this bad, especially when it is a remake of a decent film.

Story continues below advertisement

Director Nelson McCormick should never be allowed to direct another film again. Allowing your film to be plagued with so many irrational scenes is pathetic. From the terrible montage detective scenes, to the awful end, this movie is just sad. The cinematography is a mess, with murder scenes so dull you never care when someone dies.

The worst part of the movie, by far, is the licensed soundtrack and score. Every licensed song that played made me want to leave the theater. This made the movie seem like a scary version of “The O.C.” Charlie Clouser (The “Saw” franchise) should be ashamed of his score for ripping off numerous classic films such as “Psycho” and “Halloween.” Despite his influences, he still manages to make a generic overly-suspenseful score.

I missed a chunk of this movie because my head was shoved in my jacket to hide my laughter. The only people I could recommend this film to would be thirteen year old girls with no taste in movies. Other than that, this movie is a complete waste of time.

More to Discover