The Stepdaughter

  • 2001
  • Movie
  • R
  • Horror, Thriller

Subjected to abuse in assorted foster homes, Susan Heller (Andrea Roth) has waited a lifetime to punish her birth mother for giving her up for adoption. With only her talking doll Cheryl for company, deranged but comely Susan embarks on her deadly quest. First, pretending to have a car crash near the Conner Ranch, Susan worms her way into the confidence...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Subjected to abuse in assorted foster homes, Susan Heller (Andrea Roth) has waited a lifetime to punish her birth mother for giving her up for adoption. With only her talking doll Cheryl for company, deranged but comely Susan embarks on her deadly quest. First, pretending to have a car crash near the Conner Ranch, Susan worms her way into the confidence of the family's inner circle. Having already slain the Conner's horse trainer in order to provide a job opportunity for herself, Susan moves onto the property. Proving indispensable, she nurses neurasthenic Maggie Conner (Cindy Pickett), befriends her developmentally challenged son Buddy (Jaimz Woolvett), charms Maggie's trusting spouse Jesse (Gil Gerard), and flirts with horny ranch hand Paris (Gary Hudson). Only Maggie's daughter Linda (Lisa Dean Ryan) questions Susan's sincerity and starts snooping into Susan's checkered past. Casualties soon include a meddling nurse from Susan's old mental hospital; Maggie, who perishes in the electrocution bath engineered by Susan; and Paris, who suffers a fatal fall arranged by you-know-who. If Linda doesn't pay attention, her father and brother will die while she's busy digging for proof. You've seen countless variations of this payback scenario. In this cookie-cutter example, we root for Linda because she has normal reservations about strangers. Honestly, would most people open their doors so casually to a nutcase like Susan? Instead of delving into Susan's complicated psychosis, the film shouts "Boo!" Viewers interested in nuance will have to content themselves with the guilty pleasure of watching a calculating psychopath dismantle a goody-two-shoes family.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Subjected to abuse in assorted foster homes, Susan Heller (Andrea Roth) has waited a lifetime to punish her birth mother for giving her up for adoption. With only her talking doll Cheryl for company, deranged but comely Susan embarks on her deadly quest. F… (more)

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