Parents' Guide to

The Stepfather (1987)

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Popular '80s horror-suspense about parent from hell.

Movie R 1987 89 minutes
The Stepfather (1987) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

my out look of the step father

The movie the godfatheder was a great movie to me i like violent films and it was very violent and gorry. I would watch this movie with friends and my fiance because they dont like blood and stuff like that so it would be intresting to see how they react. If i summarized the movie the best way i could for u to understand it i would say. This movie is about a man who is a seriel killer. He gets involved with families and kills them when he's done he moves on to another family. After he murdered his last family he meets a woman in a grocery store. She is a divorced mother of three. He gradually gets her to fall in love with him and soon they are engaged. Soon after the oldest son comes home from bootcamp, the step dad faces a problem. The oldest son soon realizes that the step dad is lieing after a conversation at the diner. After finding nothing out about the step dad he decided to ask his girlfriend for help andf she told him he was crazy and needed to drop it. Soon everyone in the family comes to realize they are faced with the challenge of surviving the step father. this is how i would summarize it i think it's an awesome movie and if you haven't seen it you need to.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

As a horror-suspense rendering of a stepkid's worst imaginings and a twisted view of "family values" gone wrong, this movie functions smoothly and doesn't insult viewer intelligence. No, it's not quite Hitchcock quality, and in fact The Stepfather wasn't even a big hit when it was released. Its "sleeper" status did inspire two poor sequels (just reruns of the original, with more gore) and a needless 2009 remake.

Coming as it did after a 1980s flood of sickening slasher flicks aimed at teens, THE STEPFATHER earned good reviews by being smarter and better acted than the other cheapies about kids chopped up at the prom. Typical youth-bait material -- pranks, drugs, sex, rock music, skateboarding -- are almost entirely absent in the script co-authored by thriller novelists Donald Westlake and Brian Garfield, which fleshes out the characters well and gives grown-ups equal validity and importance.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate