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Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Wrong Stepfather 2020 * * * Stars

The Wrong Stepfather (TV Movie 2020) - IMDb


"I just want a family, a happy family!" Uh-oh, creep-o alert. These are words you think about but shouldn't say out loud.

Anyway, 2020's The Wrong Stepfather is my latest review. It has star Corin Nemec hamming it up as if he were snarling axe-man Jack Torrance. Oh and co-star William McNamara gets his ham on too playing a spastic English teacher (McNamara was in Dream a Little Dream but he's hardly recognizable now). 

Registering at eighty-nine minutes and featuring Vivica A. Fox in her umpteenth stint as a high school administrator, "Stepfather" is a Lifetime flick that checks all the boxes. You got a SoCal setting (check), adult personas that are naive to what's going on (check), cheesiness (check), social media interludes (check), and a campy, off the rails mentality (checkmate).

Featuring an abrupt ending similar to Psycho Escort (the bad guys don't always get caught) and defying the laws of gravity when the antagonist falls twenty feet to pavement while getting up unscathed (whatev), "Stepfather's" diegesis goes like this: A college adviser named Craig Green (Nemec) gets involved with a single mother named Mrs. Woodley (played by television mainstay Krista Allen). Woodley's daughter Sarah is on the verge of getting into a good school and Green wants to help her while trying to sweep said mom off her feet. Craig Green is also a liar and a sneaky killer and will eliminate anyone who doesn't allow him to make his contented household complete.

All in all, the Lifetime network churns out movies like this at a rapid rate. The Wrong Stepfather just feels a little more eerie as it unfolds with a sort of sledgehammer intensity. This thing won't win any Oscars but you gotta love it when Nemec's Green with an angered look, exclaims "Sarah you naughty girl". Corin Nemec plays conflicting type here as opposed to being the woeful protagonist in 2019's The Wrong Stepmother. Looking vein-popped and rattled, he pulls it off quite nicely. Rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson      

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