Coming Home to Roost – Stepfather II (1987)

If there were one horror film that did not need a sequel, it would be The Stepfather as it told a perfectly whole story with an ending that did not call for any sort of continuation. Like most movies that do well no matter the decade, the makers and producers of that picture saw the potential to make a little more money and thus a sequel was called for. What made that first movie so unique was that it painted a picture of a different kind of killer, a horror that was shocking and one that was not usually seen upon the big screen and thus it worked extremely well. If a second movie was to be made, it too would have to show something just as graphic and just as shocking for it to be as good, if not better. Suffice it to say, that did not happen.

Returning for a second outing would be Terry O’Quinn as the murderous family killer and it finds him recovered from his wounds and confined to a psychiatric hospital. It is not long before the man escapes and starts killing again, first to gain a new identity and second, and more importantly, to find a new family that he might marry into, a perfect family where he might finally find contentment. Unsurprisingly, that does not happen and when the cracks start to show and he is found out to be a different person then he claimed to be, those who have come into his world are about to pay the price for it.

Like that first film, it is O’Quinn that makes it eminently watchable, the man putting in another great performance and while he was quite scary in the movie prior to this, here viewers have already seen him as such and it somewhat puts a damper on the proceedings. Everyone knows what the man is capable of and knows exactly what he is most likely going to do, all that remains being the how and why of it. That too happens in a similar fashion to the last picture, except in this case it is his soon-to-be wife who discovers what he is instead of the child and what follows is O’Quinn delivering quite the beating to Meg Foster before once again, finally seeming to be killed.

Again, while this movie still managed to entrance its viewers thanks in no small part to its lead actor, a lot of wind was taken out of its sails so to speak right from the start, as anyone who had seen the original film would know exactly what they were getting themselves into. While Stepfather II might have an air of finality about it, audiences would once again be graced with yet another sequel five years later and unknowingly, a reboot of the series even further down the line.

3 out of 5

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