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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Boy Next Door

April 26th, 2015

The Boy Next Door - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack

The Boy Next Door only cost $4 million to make and even if its P&A budget was just north of $20 million, it made enough worldwide to cover that. All it needs to do on the home market is cover any additional production and advertising costs to break even. However, it earned reviews that were just 11% positive. Is it really this bad? Or were the critics unfairly harsh on the movie?

The Movie

The movie begins with Claire Peterson jogging. She flashes back to a recent fight she had with her -- It's really that bad. We hear an argument between Claire and her husband, Garrett and the acting is bad. We get the basics of the plot through this extended flashback. Garrett had an affair with his secretary and Claire threw him out of the house. Her son, Kevin, gets upset. Her best friend, Vicky, tells her to get a divorce. Here's the thing, aside from Ian Nelson, whom I haven't seen enough from to judge, all of the actors here are capable of giving good performances. But I was stunned, literally, at the bad performances in the beginning of the movie. And I mean the literal definition of literally, as in, "astonish or shock (someone) so that they are temporarily unable to react". I was in the middle of typing Claire's name when the first line of dialogue was spoken and I had to stop typing it was so forced and unnatural.

So, this is a bad movie. But, is it a bad bad movie? Or is it so bad it's good? Skipping ahead to the plot, Claire Peterson has a new neighbor, Noah Sandborn, who moved in with his uncle after the death of his parents. He's young, but not so young that it would be illegal. He's almost 20, which means there should be absolutely no issue with Claire and Noah hooking up. He even gets along well with Kevin. She's intrigued by him and after a disastrous blind date, she's tempted by him and they have sex. She immediately recognizes this was a mistake, but he's completely obsessed with her. He is also a new student in her class, which makes a bad situation much worse.

The Boy Next Door is a really bad movie that doesn't work on any level. It's an erotic thriller that isn't erotic or thrilling. That's a real failing. However, it's not even "so bad it's good". It is just dull. Dull and boring. I already mentioned how bad the acting was in the opening moments of the film. There are some parts that are better, but for the most part, calling the acting wooden would be being kind. The sex scene in the movie is in no way erotic and there's nothing thrilling about the movie, because there's nothing here we haven't seen a hundred times before. The closest we have to something refreshing is an older woman hooking up with a younger man and the man turning out to be the obsessive individual. Had they done anything really interesting with that aspect of the movie, then it would at least have been worth a rental. As it is, I would recommend skipping it.

The Extras

The extras are on par with most first-run releases and include an audio commentary track, making of featurette, and deleted scenes.

I have no real complaints about the technical presentation. It was shot digitally, so it should come as no surprise that the digital transfer is good with sharp details, vivid colors, deep blacks. It's not great, but that's because the movie isn't visually intensive. Likewise, the audio is good with clear dialogue and some activity in the surround sound speakers, but there's not a lot of activity. There just enough to not feel barren, but not enough to stand out.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack costs $20, which is inline with most first-run releases. However, the DVD costs $17, which his higher than average, so the Blu-ray is the much better deal.

The Verdict

The Boy Next Door. Ugh. Just skip it. It is bad, really bad, but not in an entertaining way. The DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack are fine for a first run release, but nothing special.

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Filed under: Video Review, The Boy Next Door, Kristin Chenoweth, John Corbett, Jennifer Lopez, Ian Nelson, Ryan Guzman