Jennifer Lopez leads the cast in The Boy Next Door, a psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction that goes much too far. Directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious) and written by Barbara Curry, the film also stars Ryan Guzman, John Corbett and Kristin Chenoweth.
More often than not, January, February, and March are the three months that see the releases of the worst movies of the year. So if you’re a regular movie-goer like myself, you will most likely find yourself dreading going to see movies at the start of the year. Well, those three months sure had some stinkers, but I think we have a winner for worst film of 2015 so far, which is called ‘The Boy Next Door‘.
It’s a movie you’ve seen done over and over before with better scripts, acting, and something resembling suspense. ‘The Boy Next Door‘ lacks all of those qualities. But I shouldn’t be surprised, because the “so-called” talent behind this production speaks volumes. First off, the script was written by Barbara Curry (a former lawyer with no film credits to her name). Then you have director Rob Cohen in the director’s seat, trying once again to turn slop into gold, but failing miserably. His credits include ‘The Skulls‘, ‘Stealth‘, ‘XxX‘, and the recent ‘Alex Cross‘ film. As Kevin Smith has said before, “In Hollywood, you fail upwards“, which is very true here.
The story focuses on a high-school teach named Claire (Jennifer Lopez) who has a broken marriage and a teenage son who seems to be allergic to almost everything. To make a long story short, the next door neighbor’s teenage nephew Noah (Ryan Guzman) takes a liking to Lopez and the two end up doing the dirty deed one night, which brings you to the main plot point of the film, which is Jennifer Lopez’s loving turns men into sadistic murderers and stalkers, hell bent on more. Literally, that is the point of the film that gets you from point A to point B. Nothing in the movie makes one lick of sense, nor does the dialogue.
Noah just can’t seem to bring himself to accept that it won’t work out with Claire in the film, so instead of focusing his efforts on someone his age, he kills and tortures people along with stalking the one he is so in love with. It’s actually pretty funny when you look at it that way. Out of all the stalker situations, murders, and attempted murders in the movie, nobody calls the authorities, when it’s blatant and obvious that Noah is causing all of this chaos. Hell he doesn’t even hide it in public either.
There were tons of plot holes and set ups and characters that never showed up again or wrapped up in anyway shape or form, nor did the one big sex scene between Lopez and Guzman look like any steamy sexual episode. It was all amateur hour here. My god, the acting was ten times worse than daytime soap operas. It’s so bad in fact, you can play a drinking game in which you could take a drink each time someone delivers a cheesy line of dialogue. Just look at the trailer below.
I will say that in the final two minutes of the film, before the movie abruptly ends (thank God), we get to see a B-Movie eye gouge sequence, which made me laugh out loud. But other than that cheap practical effect, ‘The Boy Next Door‘ is a true disaster.
'The Boy Next Door' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Despite being a god-awful movie, the image looks quite good.
Each scene has rich detail that is vivid and sharp throughout. Every scar, individual hair, makeup blemish, and bead of sweat comes across nicely here. The lace and fine threads on Jennifer's outfits are deep and the denim costumes along with props and background school sets look amazing. The hardware store in particular shows off every glare and scuff in the tools quite nicely, giving the films some image depth. Colors are pleasantly balanced and saturated with mostly warm neutral colors.
There are never overly bold or striking colors here, meaning nothing ever pops off screen. The black levels are always deep and inky and the skin tones are mostly natural, however a bit on the lighter side. There was some evidence of some very minor video noise, but it's nothing to write home about. With no other compression or video issues, I'd say this video presentation has done a great job. I only wish the film itself was this good.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, and for being a supposed suspenseful thriller, the audio is somewhat lacking. I'm not saying this is terrible in any way, but I am saying that this is more of a front heavy audio mix than I'd like to hear. Nothing here is particularly lively, which is a shame, because there are several instances with gun fire, a car accident, and a fire. The gun shots don't sound all that realistic, but staged and never pack a punch, let alone use the surround speakers. The same can be said for the car accident as well.
The surrounds kick into low gear when thunderstorms are present or a fire is engulfing a structure. There is never any decent directionality here either. The score and music do its job, but never fully adds to the suspense of any particular scene. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and was the track was free of any pops, cracks, shrills, and hiss. Don't expect the bass to rumble to much either. The LFE is decent and the dynamic range is somewhat wide, earning this audio presentation decent marks.
Audio Commentary - Bless his heart, director Rob Cohen really tries to sell this movie, but man, it just isn't any good. He talks about the cast, the script, the small budget, the sex scene, and how it all came together. If you actually decide to watch the film, it's best with this commentary track on.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 10 Mins.) - There are five deleted scenes, none of which add to any real development of the final product.
The Making of 'The Boy Next Door' (HD, 10 Mins.) - A better than standard promo reel for the film with interviews with the cast and crew and some on-set footage of what went on during filming.
'The Boy Next Door' is a a terrible film on almost every level. There really isn't anything good about it. From its atrocious acting to the deplorable script, everything is just bad. You will notice that I gave a half star to the film itself strictly for an eye gouge sequence, which really was the only decent segment in the film. Luckily the video presentation is top notch, but the audio portion is less than thrilling. With a few run-of-the-mill extras added, I'd say you can skip this one all together and feel good about it.