THE BOY NEXT DOOR [2015]: in cinemas now [short review]

Directed by:
Written by:
Starring: , ,



REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic


Claire Peterson separates from her husband Garrett after he was caught cheating with his secretary. Teenager Noah Sandborn – the orphaned nephew of her wheelchair-bound neighbour – moves in next door. He befriends Kevin, Claire’s bullied teenage son, and begins attending his school, where Claire teaches English literature. Noah and Claire are drawn to each other and, after going on a miserable double date, and with Kevin away, Noah calls Claire over to help him cook and they end up having sex. The next day, Claire tells Noah that she regrets their night together, but Noah has different ideas…

There’s a scene in The Boy Next Door where someone gives someone else, as a gift, a copy of Homer’s The Iliad. He claims he found it in a garage for $1, and calls it a “first edition”. Now bearing in mind how old this book is, the pristine condition the book seems to be in is totally unbelievable, and there wouldn’t have even been a first edition of a story passed down through oral tradition and not committed to print until it was 1,000 years old. I’m surprised that the person didn’t say that the book was signed by Homer himself. It’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen in a film, and seriously tarnishes what is quite an enjoyable, if still pretty stupid [nobody seems to act with any kind of logic], throwback to 90’s ‘erotic thrillers’ that also seems influenced by last year’s TV movie Damaged. This is one of those films that you can’t help but not call trash, but at the same time you may very well enjoy despite your best instincts. For a start, it’s not boring, something that can’t be said for, say, Fifty Shades Of Grey, though there’s only one major sex scene in this, a scene where goes to such extremes to avoid showing J-Lo’s boobs that the man’s hands are constantly covering them even when photographs of their night of passion later turn up.

Made with a small budget and only a 23 day shooting schedule, The Boy Next Door suffers from Barbara Curry’s weak script which runs through all the cliches you’ve seen time and time again, while director Rob Cohen has certainly made a nice tight product which doesn’t outstay its welcome but shows that he has joined the ever increasing number of idiot filmmakers who think that getting the cinematographer to wobble the camera about is cool and trendy despite the viewer not actually being able to see what is occurring, though it’s only every now and again. Still, I’m probably being too hard on a film which I feel the critics have been just a little too harsh about. It does have some suspense and most of the performances are fine, even Ryan Guzman as the hunk with a darker side. Lopez, perhaps partially because of her dire music, seems to me to be unjustly criticised for her acting – given the right material like Out Of Sight and Enough she can really shine and even in rubbish like Angel Eyes and Gigli she isn’t really bad. She’s fine in The Boy Next Door, despite her character rarely making any sense, and it’s nice to see a woman over 40 in a film allowed to be sexual. This film is mostly forgettable nonsense, but quite fun while it lasts. It’s worth noting that the UK version, in order to get a ‘15’ certificate, has been cut by two seconds to remove an eye gouging.

Rating: ★★★★½☆☆☆☆☆

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About Dr Lenera 1971 Articles
I'm a huge film fan and will watch pretty much any type of film, from Martial Arts to Westerns, from Romances [though I don't really like Romcoms!]] to Historical Epics. Though I most certainly 'have a life', I tend to go to the cinema twice a week! However,ever since I was a kid, sneaking downstairs when my parents had gone to bed to watch old Universal and Hammer horror movies, I've always been especially fascinated by horror, and though I enjoy all types of horror films, those Golden Oldies with people like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee probably remain my favourites. That's not to say I don't enjoy a bit of blood and gore every now and again though, and am also a huge fan of Italian horror, I just love the style.

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