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Chris Kavan's Movie Reviews (3248)

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Boy Next Door, The (2015) 
Give In - Then Look Out
2.5/4 stars

When a husband cheats on his wife, she finds herself in a vulnerable place. Going out with her friend doesn't help - but the young stud across the street is easy on the eyes, articulate and helpful... one night things go too far - she tries to put the past behind her, but he becomes obsessed, violent and angry. And he won't let go.

The Boy Next Door is full of tropes you have seen before - and that's OK, as the director admits he made this as a kind of homage to the best erotic thrillers that came out of the 80s. This time, however, it's the mature woman who becomes the obsession of a dangerous, young man. Jennifer Lopez is too attractive by far to play the suburban mother/teacher - no matter how hard you try to dress her down, she's still J-Lo. Newcomer Ryan Guzman plays the hunky psycho - and despite some rather large character shifts - he manages well enough. The one really steamy scene lives up to the hype and sets the tone.

Kristin Chenoweth plays vice principal/best friend while John Corbett plays the philandering husband trying to make amends. Rounding out the cast is Ian Nelson as the son - stricken with anxiety-laden attacks that, of course, come in to play when needed. The film was made on a modest budget and went on to score some decent numbers at the box office. Director Rob Cohen managed to do pretty good on the minimal budget - some car chases, tense moments and a bloody good finale. While it can't quite escape the overly familiar territory of a typical revenge thriller, it works well for what it is.

It offers some real edge-of-your-seat moments, a bit of titillation and even a fair bit of chemistry. It's not going to rewrite the script on thrillers but it is good enough to recommend for night in or a twisted date movie.


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