April 4, 2023

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: The Stepford Wives (1975)

Just like the “Because You Watched…” lane that pops up on your favorite streaming service, Now Playing Podcast wants to help you find the perfect companion flicks. Each week, contributor Chris Bravo brings you fresh recommends that tie in with one of our reviews.

So you liked that newest edition in the Children of the Corn series, eh? You liked the new creature design? You liked Eden, this movie’s child terror? You liked the kids getting revenge on their dumb parents for their dumb decisions?

Well, there aren’t too many movies like this, not exactly. I don’t want to recommend a previous entry in the Corn series, because that seems like a cheat. I don’t want to recommend other killer plant-horror films, like Swamp Thing or The Happening, as Now Playing has already covered those. And I don’t want to recommend other killer kid movies like The Omen or Orphan since those have a completely different vibe from Children of the Corn.

Instead, I ran with one of the underbaked themes of the latest Corn movie – a community in disarray. In the first act of the film, we see a town hall meeting in which the adults decide to kill their corn crops for a big payday–much to the dismay of their kids. Well, in 1975, in the small town of Stepford, Connecticut, there was another community in disarray. And the men of that town decide to solve their problems by… well, you’ll see. It’s a slow burn of a movie, but what makes it so effective is the creeping, building suspense that director Bryan Forbes was able to instill throughout the movie. Every now and then, we’ll see another thing out of place, another person acting strangely until the bombastic climax throws everything into chaos.

Much like the strange-acting kids in Children of the Corn (2022), the adults in The Stepford Wives (1975) never reveal their diabolical plans until the final act. And while there are no monsters in this movie (though you’ll find a few in the TV movie sequels), there are some subtle sci-fi elements that I think most of you will appreciate. If you haven’t seen The Stepford Wives yet, I highly recommend it. But avoid Frank Oz’s remake in 2004. All subtlety and suspense are missing from that misguided modernization.


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