Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written nearly 200 reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “The Boy Next Door” which originally appeared here.
When handsome teenager Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door to take care of his ailing uncle, separated high-school teacher from her husband Garrett (John Corbett), Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) and him begin a friendship and occasionally engage in what she thinks is harmless flirtation. Despite the fact that Noah spends a lot of time with Claire’s son Kevin (Ian Nelson), Noah’s attraction to her becomes more and more palpable. One evening, Claire decides to give in to Noah’s attempts of seduction and when she tries to end their relationship, he suddenly becomes obsessive and violent.
When I thought there was never going to be a film worse than Fantastic Four, here comes The Boy Next Door. I knew its reputation but I wanted to see it for myself. The film definitely has a few things going for it though. The story is bad. The acting is bad. The dialogue is bad. It makes Fantastic Four look like a masterpiece in comparison. The story is not an original one that is full of cheese and stalker-movie cliches and it also gets silly at times from all the implausible things that happen. The most implausible thing has to be how quickly Noah became obsessed with Claire as they barely spent any time together at the beginning so you never really believe him. It is also riddled with plot holes that the film seems to not care about trying to solve. The characters often alternate between annoying and stupid gullible. I know they must advance the plot but at times I found myself yelling at the screen when characters said or did stupid things which was quite often. The acting was rather inconsistent with some being over-the-top like Ryan Guzman as Noah and some being bland like everyone else. The only performance I liked was Kristen Chenoweth as Claire’s best friend Vicky as she was able to provide some comic relief. The bad script could be to blame but good actors are supposed to overcome things like that. I haven’t laughed so much at bad dialogue since I saw Fifty Shades of Gray. As with Fifty Shades of Gray, most of the bad dialogue occurs in the scenes between Noah and Claire as every time they would talk to each other, I couldn’t help but to cringe. If I did have to pick one thing I liked about the film, it would be the end. The end is by far the silliest part of the film but I liked it because of something I don’t want to spoil and because it was the end. This is a short film at around 90 minutes but when you’re watching it, it could sometimes feel longer. If they could just have fixed the story and the script and after that made the film longer, it could have been better than it was.