There is no good reason for STEPFATHER 2 to exist. The first film was a surprisingly effective thriller, with a pretty good script, made a near-classic by a brilliant central performance. Terry O'Quinn does such a good job as Jerry Butler — the psychotic man in a constant search for the perfect family for which he can become the patriarch — that even the crappier actors in the film don't ruin it. But since the first movie ended with
absorbing an amount of violence that would've put anyone in their graves a
sequel seems not just unnecessary but ridiculous. So why is it so damned good?
The fact that Jerry is still alive and living in a mental asylum is silly
enough. That the scars on his chest don't really match up to the knife thrust
we are shown from the first film in flashbacks is amusing too. That he's able
to escape and resume his pattern of hunting for the TV perfect family of his
dreams is nuts. So why did I enjoy this unneeded, silly sequel? Once again:
Terry O'Quinn. The man is just that good. While onscreen he makes the crazed
plotline believable simply by virtue of his performance. And the combination of
his smoothness and the plot grinding toward his eventual discovery as a
homicidal madman makes STEPFATHER II almost as fun to watch as the original.