The film is an American psychological thriller movie of director Joseph Ruben and O’Quinn stars being the identity-assuming murderer who married the widow with the teenage daughter. Killing his former family that changed his identity, the murderous tendencies go on after the stepdaughter became suspicious about him. A movie is being loosely based on a mass murderer life of John List, and though the plot had been more commonly connected with the slasher movie of the era when compared with a real story.
- Terry O’Quinn acted as Jerry Blake / Bill Hodgkins and Henry Morrison “The Stepfather”
- Margot Pinvidic acted as Mrs. Anderson
- Sheila Paterson acted as the Dr. Barbara Faraday
- Gabrielle Rose acted as Dorothy Rinehard
- Jill Schoelen acted as Stephanie Maine
- Stephen Shellen acted as Jim Ogilvie
- Robyn Stevan acted as Karen
- Jeff Schultz acted as Paul Baker
- Richard Sargent acted as Mr. Anderson
- Marie Stillin acted as Mrs. Fairfax
- Andrew Snider acted as Mr. Grace
- Don S. Williams acted as Mr. Stark
- Dale Wilson acted as Frank
- Lindsay Bourne acted as an Art Teacher
- Gillian Barber acted as Annie Barnes
- Paul Batten acted as Mr. Fairfax
- Jackson Davies acted as Mr. Chesterton
- Rochelle Greenwood acted as Cindy Anderson
- Shelley Hack acted as Susan Maine
- Anna Hagan acted as Mrs. Leitner
- Sandra Head acted as the Receptionist
- Gary Hetherington acted as Herb
- Charles Lanyer acted as Dr. Bondurant
- Stephen Miller acted as Al Brennan
- Blu Mankuma acted as Lieutenant Jack Wall
- Don MacKay acted as Joe
Henry Morrison washed-off blood in the bath area, before changing the appearance and placing his belongings in a suitcase. Right after packing the things, Henry left by the house’s front door, nonchalantly passing a butchered remain of his family with the others. Boarding the ferry, Henry tosses a suitcase that has the objects from the previous life in the ocean. After a year, Henry—now operates as an actual estate agent known as Jerry Blake in their suburbs in Seattle—got married to the widow named as Susan Maine. The relationship of Jerry with Stephanie, 16 years old daughter of Susan was strained. Dr. Bondurant, her psychiatrist, advised her to still give Jerry a second chance.
Meanwhile, the brother of the murdered previous wife of Jerry, Jim Ogilvie, runs an article regarding his sister’s killing in a newspaper. While hosting the neighborhood barbecue, Jerry finds out the article and was disturbed by it. Then, Jerry goes to the house basement and starts maniacally wandering to him, unaware that Stephanie had also entered in the basement. Finding his stepdaughter, Jerry brushed-off his outbursts through saying that he had been simply allowing steam. He told her not to be anxious. Stephanie locates the tabloid saying Jerry’s earlier murder and comes to consider her stepfather is that killer stated in an article. She wrote the letter to a newspaper requesting the image of Henry Morrison; however, Jerry locates the image in the mail then changes it with the picture of a stranger, allaying her suspicion.
So curious about the stepfather of Stephanie, who had repeatedly refused on meeting him, Dr. Bondurant had an appointment with Jerry just under an assumed name, stating that he wanted to purchase a house. During the meeting, Bondurant asked lots of questions and Jerry realized that Bondurant isn’t who he said he was, and, mistakenly believed he is one undercover cop, beaten him to his death and stages the auto accident. The following day, Jerry informed Stephanie of Bondurant’s passing and succeeded in linking to her. Jerry’s newborn connection with his stepdaughter has been rapidly cut short if he grabbed Stephanie kissing her loved one, Paul. Jerry accused Paul of trying to rape Stephanie, that causes the argument with Susan and Stephanie and drove Paul away. Stephanie jogged out on Susan and Jerry because Susan told Jerry is her biological father, though he is not.
The movie is one of those finest thrillers to come from the 1980s. This has assured tracked from Joseph Reuben. The excellent script of Donald Westlake and the absolutely mesmerizing acting of Terry O’Quinn, the one that invested his personality with sufficient repressed fury to create most screen psychos just like Mr. Rogers.
The movie starts out with the actual sense of style like O’Quinn washed his bloody hands in the bath area sink, then go on to change his appearance drastically just before walking down the stairs to his killed family; it is a creepy and a startling beginning and the other part of the movie is well and stylishly done. The biggest strength is a well-enhanced psychopathology of O’Quinn’s personality. His behavior really makes sense with regards to his madness. It is one refreshing change of step from most movies of this type, wherein the killer had zero motivation and was just plot-devices.