There is little that’s more overpowering, reckless and all-consuming than intense desire. For some, that desire bleeds into obsession. Global superstar Jennifer Lopez (“Maid in Manhattan,” “Enough”) leads the cast Universal Pictures’ “The Boy Next Door,” a psychological thriller directed by industry veteran Rob Cohen (“The Fast and the Furious”) that explores a forbidden attraction that goes much too far.
In the film, Lopez stars as Claire Peterson, a high-school literature teacher struggling to get back in the dating game after separating from the cheating Garrett (John Corbett of NBC’s “Parenthood”), her husband of 18 years. As their teenage son, Kevin (Ian Nelson of “The Hunger Games”), deals with being bullied by his schoolmates, it’s as if Claire’s prayers are answered when a handsome and charismatic 19-year-old named Noah (Ryan Guzman of “Step Up” series), befriends Kevin after moving in next door to care for his sick uncle—following the tragic deaths of both his mother and father. Though he becomes friendly with Kevin, Noah’s attraction to Claire at first sight is more than palpable.
Although Noah spends the majority of his summer hanging out with Kevin, teaching him how to talk to girls and fix cars, he never stops looking at Claire out of the corner of his eye. Claire welcomes the friendship, and subsequently the flirtation, inviting Noah over for dinner while his uncle is in the hospital, and engaging in conversations about his love of literature. Claire’s seemingly harmless flirtation continues to encourage Noah’s behavior, and before she knows it, he’s fallen hard for her. The only catch? Noah has enrolled as a fifth-year senior at Claire’s school.
Then one night, at the behest of Vicky (Kristin Chenoweth of TV’s “Glee”), her best friend and the vice principal at her high school, Claire goes on a blind date that goes horribly awry. Feeling dejected once again, Claire comes home, only to receive a call from Noah asking for her help with a cooking “emergency.” Once there, Claire is instantly at ease, even as Noah begins showering her with compliments. Just as she’s about to leave, Noah takes this opportunity to show her how he feels. He begins kissing her and taking off her clothes, even as she’s gently pushing him away. Although she knows it’s wrong, this is the first man who has made her feel worthy in a very long time. In a moment of weakness, she surrenders and they have a brief, but extremely intense and steamy, night together.
The next morning, Claire wakes up to the cold reality of her perilous error. Hurrying to leave, she apologizes profusely to Noah for her egregious lapse in judgment, but his once charming and flirtatious demeanor turns quickly into a dangerous, violent obsession. Noah’s fatal attraction will force Claire to her limits as she protects her world from being torn apart and her family from a psychotic danger.
Marking director Cohen’s 15th film for Universal Pictures, The Boy Next Door is written by BARBARA CURRY in her first produced feature and is the latest collaboration between Universal and blockbuster producer Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions (“The Purge” series).
Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 28, “The Boy Next Door” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.