It’s been an awfully long time since audiences were treated to an erotic thriller shaped in the ‘Basic Instinct’/’Fatal Attraction’ mould with the genre now relegated to titles that are either made direct to TV or DVD and no movie-star name attached. So there’s a certain glee in watching something like ‘The Boy Next Door’, a suitably sexy chiller with a 90’s mentality and entertainment value on the so-bad-it’s-good level. The film is clichéd, the script is ludicrous, and the characters aren’t smart, but there’s massive (guilty) pleasure to be held in all the winks and nods the film tips its viewers along the way.
The set-up is tried and true as Jennifer Lopez’s school teacher is reeling from the recent infidelity of her husband, and the arrival of her neighbour’s beefcake grandson (Ryan Guzman) is the perfect distraction. Flirting turns to a night of heated intimacy (the film offers up a surprisingly raunchy sex scene for the two) which in turn reveals said beefcake’s psychopathic tendencies as one night with La Lopez apparently does his head in. As Guzman’s unhinged boy next door spirals further out of control, the film descends into campy B-grade territory, and it’s all the better for it.
There’s no surprise as to where it’s going but director Rob Cohen (the original ‘The Fast and the Furious’) earns points for a series of surprisingly violent encounters along the way and for knowing the film’s strength lies within the undeniable sex appeal of both Lopez and Guzman; at 45 years the former is still arguably one of the sexiest performers working today with her world-famous shapely curves on display on a regular occurrence whilst the latter seems to have been hired solely for his physique as he gets his kit off at a near-record consistence. A Friday night rental that is best viewed with a glass of wine and a lack of brain-cells, ‘The Boy Next Door’ is cheesy, campy fun, and a solid substitution for when you want to take a break from re-watching ‘Showgirls’.
‘The Boy Next Door’ is available to buy or rent on DVD and Blu-Ray now