The Boy Next Door
The plot for The Boy Next Door, a new psychological thriller starring Jennifer Lopez, is pretty simple: a newly divorced high school teacher, Claire (played by Lopez), is seduced into a one-night stand with her neighbour’s nephew, Noah (Ryan Guzman), a 19-year-old boy who’s just become a student at her school. He’s also her son’s best friend. She quickly realises her mistake the morning after and tries to make them both forget the night ever happened, but it’s too late. Noah has already fallen in love.
The boy’s obsession and the torment it causes Claire’s family is usually what drives such stories, but a sketchy script drags this one almost to a standstill. The plot is not developed enough to reel you in, failing to get under your skin and give you the creeps. The dialogue is mundane, save for one or two tense confrontations between Claire’s son and his absent father. Supported by a cast of lightweights, even the obligatory shot of Lopez’s celebrated backside in figure-hugging lingerie and the chiselled Guzman in various body-show poses can’t save this film.
The Boy Next Door is one psycho-thriller that fails to send chills down your spine or raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Instead, what you sense is a rush to get to the contrived, cliché-ridden climax, complete with a cat that seems to have been dragged to the set as an afterthought.
If this film has to be awarded anything at all it would be for the mildly dramatic moments of confrontation between father and son. Otherwise, this belongs with the TV films that are not worth the trouble of putting a coat on to go to the cinema.
The Boy Next Door was released nationwide on 27th February 2015.
Watch the trailer for The Boy Next Door here: