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Review: The Boy Next Door

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When it comes to movies starring Jennifer Lopez one has usually come to expect to see her in her usual romantic comedy roles. Unfortunately while I had high expectations for her latest thriller “The Boy Next Door” ,which she ironically produced I was extremely disappointed. To save you a movie ticket and an hour and half of your life I wish I could get back here’s a brief synopsis:

Jennifer plays a high school literature teacher named Claire Peterson struggling with the recent separation from her cheating husband. After being urged to get a divorce from her best friend and colleague  Vicky (played by Kristin Chenoweth) she meets Noah( played by  Pretty Little Liar’s Ryan Guzman)  the 20 year old attractive neighbour  from next door. Noah befriends her teenage son Kevin and winds up in Claire’s literature class. One night after returning from a blind date gone wrong Claire winds up at Noah’s house where they have dinner and in a moment of weakness on Claire’s part the two end up having sex. It however does not end there after realizing what a huge mistake she has made Claire tries to brush off Noah’s constant almost seemingly obsessive affection which does not go well.

Things escalate from there with Noah becoming increasingly jealous that Claire is about to get back together with her husband Garrett (played by John Corbett). Noah manipulates Kevin into hating his Dad, and plasters naked pictures all over Claire’s classroom. In a moment of rage Kevin starts driving out of control with his Dad on the way home and the two almost end up dead due to a faulty break.Noah ends up beating up a bully on Kevin’s behalf so bad he is expelled. Vicky discovers he has a history of violence when he is called into her office and he nearly assaults her too.

Noah blackmails Claire and informs her he has the sex tape of them and will only give it up if the two keep having  a relationship. She refuses which leads to her breaking into Noah’s house discovering his “shrine” to her and the video. While deleting the images and the video off his laptop she discovers pictures of break schematics realizing he had in fact tampered with Garret’s car and nearly killed her husband and son. A detective informs her that Noah’s father died in a car crash and she realizes the car is the same one she found on Noah’s laptop.

Meanwhile Noah has gagged and tied up Vicky in an attempt to lure her to Vicky’s house using a recording over the phone to trick Claire. Claire arrives to late and Vicky is dead. Noah reveals that his mother killed herself after finding out her husband was cheating. In an act of revenge he tampered with the mini van’s breaks resulting in the deaths of his father and his mistress. Claire is led to a barn house where her husband and son are being held captive. Noah gives her an ultimatum run away with him or watch her entire family die. Claire ends up stabbing Noah in the eye with Kevin’s EpiPen during the fight. In retaliation Noah holds Kevin at gunpoint and Claire releases an an engine from the ceiling which crushes Noah, killing him instantly. Police finally arrive and the three are rushed in an ambulance where we learn Garret will recover and the movie ends.

This movie was so predictable on so many levels a film student could have written it for screenwriting class! It just made Jennifer Lopez look so so dumb. Kristin Chenoweth didn’t fare any better in this film and I was shocked to see her in it.Ryan Guzman did an ok job portraying a crazy obsessed lover.

This movie makes women in general look stupid and helpless. Why would you wait so long to tell the police you are being stalked? Why would you let it get to a point where your husband and son are almost killed in a car accident and your teaching career is on the line?

These are questions I asked myself over and over again while watching this film and in the days that followed.

Long story short if you want a thriller with a singer turned actress at the lead Beyonce’s ‘Obsessed’ is well worth a watch. If you are truly keen on seeing this save your money and wait for it to be released on Netflix or any other streaming site.

~Tarah Bleier

 

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