|Joseph Ruben Director||previously directed Dreamscape|
A psychopath targets single mothers in hopes of creating a perfect family. If that fails, he kills them, in this classic horror film starring that guy from Lost.
|Donald E. Westlake||screenplay/story|
|Terry O'Quinn||Jerry Blake|
|Jill Schoelen||Stephanie Maine|
|Charles Lanyer||Dr. Bondurant|
|Stephen Shellen||Jim Ogilvie|
|Stephen E. Miller||Al Brennan|
|Jeff Schultz||Paul Baker|
|Lindsay Bourne||Art Teacher|
|Blu Mankuma||Lt. Jack Wall|
|See Full Credits|
The film opens showing a man in a flannel shirt, heavy beard, and glasses looking in a mirror. He has a crazed psychotic look on his face and blood on his clothes. He grooms himself in the bathroom, finally looking like a different person when finished. The next scene shows him walking down the stairs in a business suit and briefcase. As he reaches the bottom of the stairs, the scene expands showing carnage and destruction all through the house. There is also blood stains on the walls. Soon the films shows dead bodies on the floor, as the man cleans up a little bit like it's no big deal. He finally leaves the house and walks down the street whistling a classic children's tune. The next scene shows him on a boat going to another area. When he's sure no one is looking, he pushes his briefcase into the river, getting rid of his previous identity.
Several mouths later, a mother and daughter are shown playing with the leafs they just gathered. The fun gets interrupted as a man, the mother calls Jerry (Terry O' Quinn) returns home. The mother is excited, but the daughter isn't. We see that Jerry is the same man from earlier, now living a new life with a single mother family. Stephanie (Jill Schoelen) the daughter thinks something isn't right about Jerry, while the mother Susan (Shelley Hack) thinks he's the best thing to happen after the death of her husband. Unhappy with the death of her father and this new man in her mother's life, Stephanie constantly gets into fights in school and she has to see a psychiatrist to talk about her feelings. Though she hated it at first, she eventually becomes friends with the psychiatrist, able to see him whenever she wants to. While with Jerry, Stephanie noticed his mood swings and actions that disturbed her greatly. Jerry, however, is a sells man getting people to buy homes around the area. He's charms the people in the neighborhood, even throwing parties. He also charms Susan, making it hard for Stephanie to reach her about Jerry's frighting ways. Even her friends find her criticisms of Jerry not believable. The only one she can talk to is her psychiatrist.
While this is going on, a man is out desperately looking for Jerry. He is one of the last remaining relatives from the previous family, looking for revenge. He researches and realizes the man now calling himself Jerry, has murdered a previous family before members of his own family. He ask a reporter to post a story about it, but the reporter could only get a small article in the newspaper. He then tracks down a cop, who admits they know full well about the family killer, but because the man is so good at covering his tracks, the police can't find him. He ask the cop what he should do. The cop tells him he would personally buy a gun, track the family killer down, and kill him. The man takes the advice and buys a gun.
During one of the many neighborhood parties Jerry throws, Stephanie finally sees some of Jerry's true colors, as she catches him snapping in the basement after getting mad about the news article, talking about the family killer. Jerry tries to explain that it's the pressure of the job making him act that way. Stephanie fakes agreement to get out of the basement alive. She picks up the paper Jerry had, realizing the article about the family killer set him off. She writes the newspaper asking them to send a picture of the family killer. They send the picture, but Jerry gets to it first. He hides the picture and request a picture of Howie Mandel get sent instead, fooling Jennifer. During her next visit with the psychiatrist, she tells him Jerry frightens her. Known as Dr. Bondurant (Charles Lanyer), he tries to contact Jerry for a joint session with Stephanie. Jerry tells Susan to lie about him not being available. So Bondurant makes an appointment pretending to look for a house. He meets Jerry and notices right away that something isn't right about him. When Jerry finds out Bondurant (using a fake name) is a preferred bachelor, he acts like he doesn't want to sell the house to him. This causes Bondurant to ask several questions. Jerry responds by asking Bondurant, if he's more interested in the house or in him. Bondurant makes a mistake, claiming his wife gets on him about being nosy all the time. This results in Jerry killing Bondurant with a conveniently placed two-by-four in the house. Jerry finds out the man is really Stephanie's psychiatrist and gets rid of the body. He lies to Stephanie, claiming Bondurant died in a car crash. Ironically, this convinces Stephanie to finally give Jerry a chance.
Months passed and Stephanie and Jerry are now getting along. The perfect family Jerry wanted, seems to finally be coming true. This quickly changed, however, when Stephanie goes on a date with Paul Baker, a friend she has a crush on. Stephanie and Paul are caught kissing on the porch. Jerry loses his temper - almost attacking Paul. Stephanie runs to her room, and much to Jerry's surprise, gets chewed out by Susan as she sticks up for Paul. Jerry leaves the house going for a long night walk.
Jerry decides he's going to kill Susan and Stephanie, but works on creating a new identity first. He quits his job and travels to another part of the state he's now living in. He takes a new job doing the same thing. He changes his appearance wearing a mustache and glasses. While there, he meets another single mother with a son. Confident that he now has his new family, Jerry continues to establish a new life, while completely ignoring Susan and Stephanie. Susan gets suspicious that Jerry might be cheating on her. While this is happening, the man looking for revenge is in the same neighborhood Susan and Stephanie are in. He knocks on doors and shows people an old photo of Jerry. Finally one person thinks the man in the photo, looks like the same man who sold him his house. Realizing he's found the family killer, the man rushes to the address the neighbor gives him.
Jerry, about to leave the home, is stopped by Susan. Susan called Jerry's old job and found out he quit. Jerry fakes like the people at his old job made a mistake while dialing a fake number. Susan tries to calm him down, but Jerry makes a mistake giving one of his old fake names. Jerry, realizing he messed up, ask Susan "Who Am I here?" Susan responds by saying the name she knows. Jerry thanks her, before he knocks her in the head with the phone. Susan, realizing her daughters suspicions were right, is helpless as Jerry continues attacking her, finally knocking her down the basement stairs. He looks for a knife and chooses the biggest one. He then notices the family dog, but pets it instead of killing it. He hears the front door close. Realizing Stephanie is home from school, Jerry's psychotic rage is about to boil over. But soon afterward, a doorbell rings. Jerry answers it and after a second, realized the visitor is Jim Ogilvie (Stephen Shellen), brother of the previous single mother he killed. Jerry's tries to fake like he's glad to see him, but Jim notices the blood and tries to go for his gun. Jerry rushes him with the knife and stabs him. Jim Ogilvie dies not getting his revenge.
Jerry goes up stairs after Stephanie. Stephanie just finished taking a shower, and as she comes out the bathroom, notices Jerry comes toward her with a knife. She runs back in the bathroom and locks the door. Jerry snaps and starts pounding on the door like a madman. Realizing Jerry would soon break through, Stephanie breaks the bathroom mirror and grabs a piece of glass with a bath towel. Jerry breaks through the door and Stephanie stabs him with the glass. She then runs out the bathroom and goes for the attic. Jerry is right after her. Stephanie reaches the attic first and tires to hide, but Jerry finds her. Going towards the weak part of the attic, Jerry falls through the floor and drops his knife. Stephanie tries to run past Jerry, but sees him quickly get up and go for his knife. Jerry however is shot in the back by Susan using the gun Jim brought. Jerry falls down the stairs, but gets up and continues to go after Stephanie. Stephanie reaches the knife first and stabs Jerry in the heart. Jerry tells Stephanie he loves her and falls down the stairs seemingly dead.
The film ends with Susan and Stephanie chopping down the bird house Jerry bought for them.