film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Evil Stepmom 2021 * * 1/2 Stars


"Poor Gabi, couldn't accept her new family". Um, can you blame her? When people with hidden agendas are involved, it's a slippery slope. 

Anyway, 2021's Evil Stepmom is one of the weirdest, campiest, and most manipulative films in the Lifetime Network canon. As something about a fake mother and daughter who worm their way into a rich family (that lost its mom to a brain aneurysm). "Stepmom" has a little at stake despite holding back on the devious murders (for all the temptation, there aren't any). 

"Stepmom" revels in numerous long shots of the rich family's overly big mansion (you could play a drinking game every time they are shown). Also, the actors have extended expressions on their faces and you salivate for them to just say something (which they eventually do). The rich father is Tim and he is played with reactionary sentiment by Randy Thomas. Tim's youngest is Gabrielle and she is played with a Firstborn quality in Julia Lalonde. 

As usual with any Lifetime endeavor, Evil Stepmom has the antagonists getting away scot-free with most of the characters (including the middle-aged dad) being oblivious to the wily shenanigans that's going on. Without the Internet, smartphone pics, background checks, wide open silver foxes, and dating sites, "Stepmom's" inching conundrum would cease to exist. 

"Stepmom's" hook is soccer dads who don't get too technical in their coaching. "Stepmom's" twist is a pseudo pregnancy which is clearly a trap. "Stepmom's" locales are clearly recycled (overhead shot of a high school is featured hint, hint). Finally, Evil Stepmom would rather stick to the outlined, Lifetime coda structure than punch you in the gut (like Girl in the Basement and/or The Husband did). I'm going with a mixed review which means it's worth at least one viewing. Just don't use your "evil eye". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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