release date: 23 January 2015 (Canada)
run time: 91 mins
director: Rob Cohen
starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, Kristin Chenoweth, Lexi Atkins, Hill Harper, Jack Wallace, Adam Hicks, Francois Chau, Bailey Chase, Kent Avenido, Travis Schuldt, Brian Mahoney, Raquel Gardner
movie summary: Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) is a beautiful high school teacher that is in the process of getting a divorce. She has struggled with the fact her husband Garrett (John Corbett) cheated on her and abandoned their teenage son Kevin (Ian Nelson). Her world is about to be turned upside down when Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door and catches her eye. After sharing a passionate night together, rejection will cause a series of events that threatens their relationship, friendship, and their lives.
my thoughts: The Boy Next Door got my hopes up. After seeing the trailer I thought to myself, hey that’s going to be a really good thriller and I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds. Sadly the story is really not that thrilling and the bad guy is made out to be really scary and intimidating when he isn’t. Jennifer Lopez’s star power is enough to draw some audience members in while many girls flocked Ryan Guzman bare it all. Despite having decent on-screen chemistry together, neither one of them can save this movie.
I felt let down because the build up to the affair was not as intriguing as the trailer makes it out to be and the aftermath was nothing we haven’t seen before. It would have been awesome if this movie was on the same level of Fatal Attraction or even the movie Unfaithful in terms of character build up or compelling storyline. Instead this hour and half movie has one real passionate love scene, a few shouting matches, and a bunch of stalker moments that end in a very anti-climatic setting.
The best part of the movie was their love scene which was about three and four minutes long. It looked really intense and real. Both of them put a lot of effort into this scene which was the high point of the movie because everything went downhill from there. Guzman’s Noah character turns into a complete psycho path and vows to destroy any friendship or relationship that Lopez’s Claire has, because if he can’t have her no one will. He takes being “creepy” to a whole new level by being a stalker who has hidden cameras that capture all of Claire’s moments, on top of having a basement shrine of his best friend’s mom. Even after trying to act like an adult and handle the situation, Claire realizes that Noah isn’t who he says he is and has the capabilities to be one sick human being.
As the story begins to unfold about who Noah really is, anyone with half a brain can figure out this movie is not going to end well for one of the two main stars, thus leaving the other one hailed as a hero. When the story finally comes to an end, it was rushed and not really that original, much like the whole movie itself. I have to admit I was happy when the credits started because this movie could have been so much better than what the writers came up with.
my final thoughts: Sometimes we hype up movie releases based on past experiences and stories. The Boy Next Door will never be considered a gem in the affair/revenge category despite the money it racked in on opening weekend. Most of you will get bored with the course of the story which follows in the footsteps of so many others before it. My advice is wait for it to come out on demand or Netflix to save your money.
my star rating: 3 out 10
imdb: 4.4 out 10
rottentomatoes: 13% out 100%
roger ebert: 1.5 out 4
richard crouse: 1 out 5