The Boy Next Door Blu-ray Review
At the halfway point of THE BOY NEXT DOOR, the protagonist, Noah, pounds a bullies face into the locker, fracturing his skull, and according to the vice principal, nearly killed him. I may have not gone to college and pursued a degree in law, but I’m pretty sure that’s assault. An incident like that would have the 19-year-old Noah leaving the school in handcuffs, but in THE BOY NEXT DOOR, he’s still casually strolls on to school property for prom and stalks a teacher, vandalizing the bathrooms in the process.
THE BOY NEXT DOOR hopes to be a steamy thriller that you’ve run across on one of your lonely nights channel surfing. Jennifer Lopez plays Claire Peterson, one of the worst teachers, wife, and mom in cinema history. She’s multi-talented at being oblivious and she’s mastered the art of ignorance. Her cheating husband has greatly influenced her and let some of better judgement find a new person to inhabit. Since her morality has wandered off, and her id has taken control, she’s wound up interested in the mysterious neighbor boy, Noah.
Noah speaks in classical literature quotations, eerily slides in and out of shot whenever it’s convenient, and has a supernatural knowledge of fixing a garage door and cutting the brakes on a multitude of cars. Of course we don’t learn about that last part until later in the movie. Nothing seems suspicious about the boy who has no parents and takes care of his elderly uncle. If you think his wheelchair-bound uncle will play an integral part in the story, guess again.
Things go sour when Claire, in a moment of passion, accepts Noah’s advances and in a creepy, unsexy scene, has sex with Noah. I’m not judging a consenting adult woman having sex with a consenting adult male, but I’d like to point out that if the shoe was on the other foot, everyone would see my point about how gross this is. Since Claire won’t be winning any teacher of the year awards, she attempts to brush off this sexual encounter and return to work. But Noah is now in her class, and Noah is now following her as she leaves school, and now Noah is becoming increasingly violent.
At no point does the notion of calling the authorities come up despite the fact Noah breaks a slew of laws. Claire doesn’t want to lose her job because she slept with a student, but by the end of the movie, you’ll think that she’s going to live a life of regret for not simply picking up the phone and calling the local authorities. Maybe the problem is, I flipped the on switch in my head and began processing the story.
But even if I had turned my switch to off, the movie never really wants to have fun or be silly. Instead it plays everything shrewdly and saps any form of sadistic joy out of the story. Only when the movie begins to wind down do I begin to chuckle, but that’s because the plot has become so preposterous. Now, if the movie had realized it had not only jumped the shark, but jumped the Fonz jumping the shark, it could have been an enjoyable slice of guilty hot trash.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) Every little thing comes through clearly on this blu-ray presentation.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) A well mixed slice of audio with booming tense music and balanced levels on the dialogue.
The Making of The Boy Next Door (9:17): This is a very comprehensive behind the scenes look at the creation of the movie. It highlights the themes, the direction, and the difficulties of shooting.
Deleted Scenes (9:34): Most of these scenes are just extended or an alternate path in which the scenes could have taken. If anything it shows how unsure they were when putting this movie together. None of these scenes are interesting.
Audio Commentary with Director Rob Cohen: Despite how bad this movie is, this is a director that is dedicated to selling the hell out of it. He spends every possible moment he can talking up all the hard work that went into this movie.