Entertainment Movie Reviews

Tuesday 12 December 2017

The Boy Next Door review: 'Badly directed, sloppily edited and atrociously acted but provides unintentional laughs'

George Byrne

Thriller. Starring Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, John Corbett, Ian Nelson, Kristin Chenoweth. Directed by Neill Fearnley/Rob Cohen. Cert 16

1*

Watching this truly dreadful and thoroughly cack-handed effort, it's easy to forget that when she starred in Steven Soderbergh's great Out of Sight with George Clooney there was every chance that Jennifer Lopez had a serious future ahead of her as Grade-A movie star.

Fabulous looks, great comic timing and a huge fanbase made her future look bulletproof until things went off the rails during her association with Ben Affleck (the 'Bennifer' years), leading to the disaster that was Gigli. Believe me, this makes Gigli look like All About Eve.

A variation on the Fatal Attraction school of thriller, here J-Lo plays Claire, a teacher of 'the classics' in a California high school who's separated from her husband (John Corbett) and happy for her teenage son (Ian Nelson) to befriend the 19-year-old hunk Noah (Ryan Guzman) who's moved in next door. Every cliche is signposted a mile off and when she foolishly spends the night with Noah he turns into a psycho stalker.

Badly directed, sloppily edited and atrociously acted, The Boy Next Door does, however, provide some unintentional laughs, not least when pre-psycho Hugh presents Claire with a copy of The Iliad and she proclaims "Wow! A first edition!" I'll leave you to think about that.

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