The Boy Next Door Blu-ray Review

Jennifer Lopez gets caught playing peekaboo and more with the new hunk on the block in director Rob Cohen’s The Boy Next Door. It’s hard to resist the concept of JLo being seduced by some guy that she’s got more than a decade on. As silly and absurd as that concept is, what happens after a night of discretion is so bad that it isn’t even remotely funny.

There were allusions to Fatal Attraction when The Boy Next Door began its theatrical run but I knew better. Those few who saw it in cinemas already knew the film from the trailers that covered every act of the film. Like me, they were probably most interested in seeing how Lopez handled being the film’s lead.

Lopez could have put forth an Academy-Award winning performance as Claire and it wouldn’t have helped the story along any. Forget suspending disbelief when the “boy” shows up and looks like he graduated from college in Obama’s previous term. The script by newcomer Barbara Curry tries to dance around his fact by claiming the high school student is “almost 20,” but Ryan Guzman looks closer or older than his actual age at filming of 27.

Guzman’s Noah character is introduced as the nicest guy you can possibly imagine. He’s caring for his wheelchair-bound uncle after his parents died. He kisses him on the head and jumps into any chore that crosses his path. He even jumps into the life of Claire, her son and cheating husband in less than a day’s time.

After a rainy late night romp with Claire in the sack that Cohen is wise enough to revisit in flashback knowing it’s the main attraction, Noah turns into a psycho stalker who immediately begins to terrorize and torment Claire as his property. Adding insult to injury is Claire being reluctant to tell anyone save for her best friend — including the police — for fear that her indiscretion will go public and any hopes of rekindling a life with her husband will be shot.

Punctuating the film’s mess is the final act in which all the characters come together in a set featuring the slowest burning building in the history of film. It’s bad, but like much of the film is played seriously so you don’t want to laugh, scream or emote in any way other than be thankful when it’s over.

To Universal’s credit they put some effort into The Boy Next Door high definition Blu-ray transfer. Most of the challenging dimly lit scenes including the pivotal moment that Claire is caught spying a naked Noah in the rain and the final confrontation hold together with consistency. There is some very minor black crush here and there but nothing to pull a Noah over. Likewise the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio stands up with solid audio throughout, though overall the mix feels a little front-heavy and devoid of surround.

Bonus features are relatively light and led by a feature-length commentary from director Rob Cohen who plays it fairly straightforward and informational as opposed to comical. Five deleted scenes add some additional sap, while a 10-minute making-of featurette goes through the standard paces. Also included is the DVD and a Digital HD copy.

Apart from an affair gone bad, there’s no comparison between Fatal Attraction and The Boy Next Door. The former was conceived and film to make the hair on your arm raise up and the latter an excuse to put Jennifer Lopez in the lead and let her flaunt her ageless body. Maybe that’s the reason Universal put some extra effort into making sure the Blu-ray looks great.

The Boy Next Door Blu-ray cover art

out of 5

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