The Stepfather (2009)

Theatrical Release: October 16, 2009
The Stepfather (2009)


Michael Harding (Penn Badgley) returns home from military school to find his mother (Sela Ward) happily in love and living with her new boyfriend, David (Dylan Walsh). As the two men get to know each other, Michael becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand. Is he really the man of her dreams or could David be hiding a dark side?

Dove Review

There is not much gore in this film and although there is some blood, it is more often trickles of blood rather than flowing blood. Yet it tends to be a violent film with a lot of scenes like the one which features a character using a shard of glass on another character, the suffocation of characters, including a man drowning a woman, and a character walking around the corpses of his murdered family. Also, one doesn’t have to watch the film very long and the clues and evidence immediately point to a certain member of the family who seems to change from loving and charming to a deadly rage, just waiting to add another murder to his list. So there’s not much mystery either.

At any rate, the language is strong in the film along with a lot of frightening moments and some violent ones as well. We therefore cannot recommend this movie for family viewing or award it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.

Content Description

Sex: Implied sex between a couple; sounds of sex; passionate kissing and caressing; a few frank sexual comments.
Language: GD-5; D-2; A-2; P-1; Slang for sex-1
Violence: Man cuts self shaving and a trickle of blood is seen; a character walks around corpses; man struck with a vase and bleeds a little; man punches woman and some blood is seen on her mouth; corpse found in freezer; a character strikes another one with a shard of glass which causes the man to bleed a bit; a character has a bit of blood on hand and face after a struggle with another character; a character is grabbed by neck; a character is thrown downstairs; a character is suffocated with a plastic bag; a man drowns a woman in a pool; woman punched in face; man chases woman with a knife; a few characters fall through floor; a few characters have arguments.
Drugs: Drinking in several scenes which include the consumption of beer, wine and tequila.
Nudity: Bikini on model in a poster; woman wears a skimpy bikini; girl seen in halter top and panties; shirtless men; a girl's bare back is seen as she climbs into shower.
Other: Teen boy doesn't turn volume of video game down and his stepfather grabs him by the neck; teen puts headphones on while his mother is talking to him; kids argue; a man tells a series of lies; a man sends fake e-mails; a couple of kids run from their mother in a store; a woman has a lesbian lover.


Company: Sony/Screen Gems
Writer: J.S. Cardone and Donald E. Westlake
Producer: Greg Mooradian
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 101 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter