The Boy Next Door

"OK"

The Boy Next Door Review


A cheesy TV movie ramped up with language and violence, this sudsy thriller is far more fun to watch than it should be. With its tepid spin on the plot of Fatal Attraction, the film strains to be a bunny-boiler, but entertains the audience because it's so preposterous that not a single moment is remotely believable. And since the cast refuses to play it straight, camping it up while smirking at the camera, it's enjoyable in all the wrong ways.

Jennifer Lopez stars as Claire, a high school teacher who has recently split from her husband Garrett (John Corbett) and is still getting used to life on her own with teen son Kevin (Ian Nelson). Then the astoundingly hunky 19-year-old Noah (played by 27-year-old Ryan Guzman) moves in next door with his invalid uncle (Jack Wallace) after his parents die in a fiery car crash. Super friendly, Noah quickly begins to help Kevin stand up to the school bullies and pursue the hot girl (Lexi Atkins). But Noah also begins to flirt relentlessly with Claire, and in a moment of neediness she gives in. While she sees this as a mildly transgressive restorative fling, Noah thinks it's true love, and pursues her tenaciously. And when Claire begins to trying to patch things up with Garrett, Noah takes Kevin out for a bit of gun practice.

Despite a tendency to drift into grisly violence, there's nothing edgy here. It's a swirling storm of innuendo and suggestion, with a strong sense of menace that never quite convinces us, even with a couple of gruesome plot points. This may be because the camera clearly loves Lopez so much that we know she's never in danger.

Director Rob Cohen (better known for action movies like the first Fast and the Furious) indulges in constant close-ups, prowling around Lopez's and Guzman's impossibly fit, tanned torsos, trying to find a spark of chemistry in the prudishly staged, choppily edited sex scene. More intriguing is the toxic passion between them: Claire simply can't resist this gorgeous boy ... until she realises that he's a psychopath.

Lopez is faintly ridiculous in the role, with her shiny lip gloss, lingerie and high heels. Still, she looks amazing, and nicely evokes Claire's guilt and maternal instincts. As usual, Guzman looks great but never shows much personality behind his seductively squinty eyes (but then who's looking at his eyes?). Corbett and Nelson are solid in sidelined roles, and the film is stolen by Kristin Chenoweth as Claire's sassy best pal. Thankfully, the whole movie is so silly that it's impossible to watch without a smile on your face.


The Boy Next Door Trailer

 



The Boy Next Door

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd January 2015

Box Office USA: $14.9M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Smart Entertainment, Blumhouse Productions, Nuyorican Productions, Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 76

IMDB: 4.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Claire Peterson, as Noah Sandborn, as Garrett Peterson, as Vicky Lansing, as Kevin Peterson

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