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Film Review: The Boy Next Door

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★★☆☆☆

One of the worst thing films do is make a trailer ten times better than the actual film, and this is exactly what happens in this case. In actual fact, The Boy Next Door is one of the worst films in recent memory.

Billed as an erotic thriller and starring Jennifer Lopez as a lonely divorced mother who makes the mistake of sleeping with the hunky boy next door, the film takes a dark turn when the relationship turns sour. We see the eponymous 'boy' get possessive and set out to win J-Lo back in a sadistic fashion.

After Claire Peterson sleeps with Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman), he can't seem to get their night of passion out of his head and sets out to win her back by stalking her and taking her stereotypically unpopular son Kevin (Ian Nelson) under his wing. As well as having to deal with the infatuated 20-year-old, Claire is also wrestling with the idea of getting back with her cheating husband.

Not the most original idea for a film, then. But The Boy Next Door had the potential to be something different, something director Rob Cohen gets right in a sex scene that captures the passion of the moment, but fails in every aspect of the film. We are given the impression that Noah is simply obsessed with his "sleeping with the hot mom next door accomplishment", and that works for the short time it’s used. Cohen then makes to decision to ramp up the crazy to an extent that feels out of touch with the tone of the movie. The level of craziness to which Noah excels works against the film.

Add on the fact that Claire is strongly considering getting back with her cheating husband after her mistake (which is a moot point as she was single), and this movie just falls flat of providing anything solid. I couldn’t help but think that if Cohen decided to make J-Lo’s character a stronger female lead who overcomes both Noah and her cheating husband, then The Boy Next Door would at least have a chance of becoming a movie that stands out.

The Boy Next Door is out in UK cinemas now. 




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