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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Movie Review - The Boy Next Door

The Boy Next Door (2015)
Starring Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, and Kristin Chenoweth 
Directed by Rob Cohen

First off, before I even begin this review (which I'm sure you're all anxiously awaiting), it came as a surprise to me that after seven years of writing this blog, I've yet to review a film starring Jennifer Lopez.  She seems like such a ubiquitous personality that for her movie resume to be so thin in the  last half decade seems a shock.  Then again, after watching The Boy Next Door, maybe it shouldn't seem so astonishing.

Don't get me wrong.  It's not that Lopez is bad in this one.  In fact, she's probably the one positive the film has going for it.  Lopez is Claire Peterson, a high school English teacher and mom to teenager Kevin (Ian Nelson).  Much to the chagrin of her best friend Vicky (Kristin Chenoweth), Claire is constantly fighting the urge to get back together with her estranged husband Garrett (John Corbett) who, despite cheating on her a few years back, swears he's become a better man.  When much younger eighteen year-old Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door, Claire is immediately attracted to not only his physique, but the way he also interacts with her shy son.  One evening, Claire gives in (with admittedly a little forceful push from Noah) and the two consummate their relationship, but little does Claire know that Noah (who also happens to be a student at her school) has an obsessive and dangerous personality that doesn't take well to Claire's desire to have their fling be a one-time-only event.

Quite frankly, The Boy Next Door is a low budget tv movie that because of a "star" and male buttocks made its way to the big screen instead of the small screen.  There's nothing "good" about it.  Noah as a character is so poorly written as he turns from sweet and angelic to terrifying and demonic without any warning whatsoever except for the fact that the previews of the film told us he would.  The screenplay reeks of R.L. Stine Fear Street-level quality which, as a thirteen year-old I liked and aspired to be able to write, but as an adult, I recognize the inconsistencies in story and character development.  And the less said about the film's ridiculous denouement the better -- with his striped red and gray shirt and oddly lowered gravely voice amidst a fiery landscape, I thought Noah had turned into a reincarnation of Freddy Krueger.  I was actually willing to give this one a slight pass (into D+ territory) until the final scenes -- and then it just fell apart even more than it already had.

The RyMickey Rating:  D-

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