The Boy Next Door has been released in America for a good few weeks now and it hasn’t gone down well, there has been an onslaught of awful reviews and comments about it and now its the turn of the UK. Even despite the hugely negative reviews I was pretty confident that I would enjoy it.
I was right, what can I say I suppose trashy films like this are somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine, that I don’t actually feel that guilty about! Another example of this that I can use to highlight this is the film that topped most people’s worst of lists for 2014, Ouija. Whilst most became incredibly angry and frustrated with this film I just enjoyed it for what it was. I love jump scares, idiotic characters and cringey dialogue. If the whole film has this trashy vibe to it, it is best to run with it and keep consistent and The Boy Next Door does just that. Now don’t get me wrong I know that this is an awful film and to even call it a thriller involves you having to stretch your imagination to ridiculous lengths but there is a place for films like these, as the almost full cinema screen I watched it in proves. I was thoroughly entertained the whole way through this movie, maybe for the wrong reasons but I would rather be entertained for the wrong reasons than be bored. Although I have a suspicion that the filmmakers must be aware that what they were making was trash, they must know that there is a market for this and that a lot of people lap it up. I find it hard to think that those involved really thought that they were making a credible film, but anyway that is another debate in itself.
Jennifer Lopez leads the cast here and doesn’t do a terrible job, I wasn’t really expecting any real acting ability from her but in parts of the film she was believable but the beauty of films like this is that the kind of people who enjoy these movies don’t care about the acting. The script was awful, but perfect for this film as many lines of dialogue create humour and especially when combined with over the top sound effects. There is something for lads and ladies here with two good looking leads so even if this kind of film isn’t your thing at least you have some nice leads to look at. There is a good level of action, I say that in the lightest sense of the word, but I would have liked it to start a wee bit sooner then it did. When it does start though it is full of jump scares, one-liners and moments that you can get behind the characters. Of course due to the lack of character development or real emotion shown in the film any action or tension isn’t as effective as it would have been in a more sophisticated thriller. However once again the audience of this kind of movie aren’t after that and there are plenty of the kick-ass moments that they want to see featured.
So to sum up, J-Lo and Ryan Guzman lead a not so all-star cast in a trashy ‘thriller’ that is almost as predictable as it is poorly scripted, but who cares!? The Boy Next Door is a thoroughly entertaining watch; good looking leads, ridiculous scenarios, just the kind of tension you want and a more than satisfying ending. Go on, admit it, you want to see it and you secretly want to like it!
Rating – 5.5/10