The Boy Next Door

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It’s 2015 and it seems like Jennifer Lopez is still making cheesy movies. This time around, the singer/actress stars as Claire Peterson, an English teacher who is in the midst of a divorce. One day a mysterious young man named Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman) moves next door, befriends her teenage son, fixes her garage door and starts trying to get into her pants. 

The film tries to insist that he’s a 19-year-old who failed senior year, but the 27-year-old actor doesn’t have anyone fooled, especially when he looks like a chiseled Abercrombie & Fitch model. The whole high school thing is pointless and should have been tossed out of the script altogether.

Claire goes over to Noah’s house on a rainy night to show him how to cook a chicken, and he forces himself on her. Contrary to what the trailer leads you to believe, the encounter portrays a sexual assault as opposed to a steamy display of intimacy.

The next morning  when Claire wakes up the suspense finally starts building. Noah turns out to be a psychopath stalker who threatens to kill everyone she loves if they don’t enter some sort of relationship. The bloody climax near the end is entertaining and worth watching, but the actual ending is a little predictable and disappointing for a film that’s supposed to be a thriller.

Published in Volume 69, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 4, 2015)

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