When a handsome, charming teenager named Noah (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door, newly separated high-school teacher Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) encourages his friendship and engages in a little bit of harmless (or so she thinks) flirtation. Although Noah spends much of the time hanging out with Claire's son, the teen's attraction to her is palpable. One night, Claire gives in to temptation and lets Noah seduce her, but when she tries to end the relationship, he turns violent.
Director Rob Cohen, who had previously made very expensive Hollywood blockbusters, was approached by producer Jason Blum who had made a name for himself by producing high-quality films on a very modest budget. Blum offered him the director's position for 'The Boy Next Door' on a 4.2 million budget, promising Cohen a percentage of prospective profits. Despite a critical drubbing from critics, the movie still made over 50 million dollars at the box office, earning Cohen between 1.5 and 2 million dollars for a mere 24 days of shooting. See more »
Allie's family's hardware store is called "Calahan". In the credits, Allie's surname is spelled "Callahan". See more »
For films like this, it's best not to think too much about it
Of course, this is a bad movie. Yet, there are plenty of guilty pleasures to behold here. When I say it's bad, I didn't say I didn't enjoy it. I mean, there's a lot of potential going on. Unfortunately, it leads to a bit disappointing finale. But, it is salvaged by an amount of suspense before the ensuing chaos.
At first, J.Lo... why did she even bother signing on this? I thought that this is too low even for her standards. But, later on, I think that she's pretty committed on doing this role. So, I decided to lay back and enjoy the ride.
Then, along came Ryan Guzman, as the so-called "Boy Next Door". Hmmm... He did a pretty fine job. When the tension ratchets up, he looks threatening convincingly, despite what critics say about his performance.
The supporting casts are good as well. Kristin Chenoweth stood out for me, adding comic relief and zing along the way.
My main criticism is the script. Not only it's a bit sloppy, almost made-for-TV writing, but it falters in the end. There are some characters' action including Lopez's, that's nonsensical and... stupid, actually.
When it comes to nonsensical and stupid, I just wished they would close it with being campy and over-the-top. It doesn't truly reached that level and the result is only a half-baked mess.
But, all those flaws don't matter too much because Rob Cohen's direction are superior than most of his movies, especially his last offering "Alex Cross", although it's his fault too.
For a movie released in January, it's better than expected. But, for a real nerve-wracking thriller, don't get your hopes up too high.
Just watch it for pure brainless entertainment without much to think about. It's not that bad...
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