The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 17-23

06/17/2015 10:00 AM |

the stepfather

The Stepfather (1987)
Directed by Joseph Ruben
The opening credits’ leafy autumn backdrop and menacing score sort of evoke Halloween, except the villain here is no menacing outsider; he’s the ultimate insider—the patriarch! Take that, family-values reactionaries! In an impressively versatile early performance, Lost’s Terry O’Quinn plays a Reagan-era exemplar, “a cheerleader for the old traditional values,” as his stepdaughter’s therapist puts it, visually associated with eagles throughout. He’s also a homicidal social conservative who strives for an unattainable father-knows-best ideal, the kind propagandized by prime-time; when he’s inevitably let down, he cleans the slate—with blood! The coup de grâce? He’s also a real-estate agent. Henry Stewart (Jue 21, 6:30pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Bad Dads”)