Tuesday, February 10, 2015

[Review] The Boy Next Door

The Boy Next Door is no more than an inferior, self-serious version of last year's great The Guest. It's so cringeworthy and awfully conceived in all areas that even a person with the lowest of expectations for this thriller-that-isn't-a-thriller will be clamoring for the end, only to still be disappointed after it arrives. Really though, even the movie poster looks questionable at best.

Claire (Jennifer Lopez) is a literature teacher in the midst of a separation from her husband after he had an affair. Their son goes back and forth between the two households. Eventually, a "nice guy" heartthrob neighbor named Noah (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door. Claire starts checking him out during some cliche 'look out the window while he's wearing a muscle shirt and working on a car' scenes. The two begin smanging on the down-low, and when Claire starts having second thoughts, Noah's anger issues emerge, and it's pretty clear that he's a manipulative and psychotic stalker.

From its melodramatic music over scenes of nothing, to its poor build of intrigue, the only surprise here is that this film didn't premiere on the Lifetime channel. Not a single line of dialogue sounds genuine, and a lot of it will most likely be used in the 'DO NOT' section of future books on Screenwriting. The film never makes the leap to 'so bad, it's good'; it just becomes 'so bad, it's GET IT OUT OF HERE.' Okay, okay... I'll admit--there were a couple of scenes when I laughed. The story haphazardly attempts to ratchet up the creepiness, delving into straight-on horror during the final minutes, but it just comes off as unintentionally funny. However, as a whole, this thing still isn't quite ridiculous or memorable enough to warrant novelty midnight madness showings.

The Boy Next Door is definitely one to stay away from. Scratch that. Move away as far as you can.


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