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Film / The Boy Next Door

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The Boy Next Door is a 2015 thriller movie starring Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, and John Corbett.

When a handsome, charming teenager named Noah (Guzman) moves in next door, newly separated high-school teacher Claire Peterson encourages his friendship and engages in a little bit of harmless (or so she thinks) flirtation. Although Noah spends much of the time hanging out with Claire's son, the teen's attraction to her is palpable. One night, Claire gives in to temptation and lets Noah seduce her, but when she tries to end the relationship, he turns violent.


This film contains examples of:

  • Attempted Rape: Noah tries to have his way with Claire in the boys' bathroom during the Fall Fling, believing that he can remind her how nice their first night together was. She promptly kicks him in the crotch and gets out of there.
  • Antagonist Title: Noah, the "boy next door" of the title, is the antagonist of the film.
  • Artistic License – History: Noah presents Claire with a first edition of The Iliad. The "first edition" of Homer's epic poem dates back to roughly the 8th Century. B.C.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Noah seems to take on this role with Kevin. He helps him get the girl he likes, saves him when he has an allergic reaction and fends off some bullies, albeit almost killing one of them. It's possible that he was trying to act like a paternal figure for Kevin, believing that he might have become his stepfather. He drops this behavior near the end, wanting him dead for coming between him and Claire.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Vicky is dead, but Noah has finally been stopped and Claire has saved her family including making amends with her ex husband.
  • Cat Scare: When searching through Vicki's home, Claire gets scared by a cat yowling — before coming across Vicki's dead body.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kevin's Epipen.
  • Country Matters: Noah says this to Vicki the vice principal in an argument, along with some other nasty threats at the high school. So offensive to her that Vicki attempts to slap him across the face — only for Noah to stop her mid-slap, leading to Vicki to finally expel him from the school
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Noah becomes one after Claire considers getting back with Garret. He pulls into her driveway and accuses her of toying with him even though he previously agreed to start over with her as friends.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: After being taken and nearly killed by Noah, Claire and her family have reunited with her telling her soon-to-be ex-husband that they're all going home together, hinting at a reconciliation.
  • Double Entendre: Noah drops two of these about his one-night stand with Claire, much to Garret and Kevin's oblviousness.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Noah loves his mother very much. Because she killed herself due to her husband's unfaithfulness, Noah got his revenge by killing his father and his mistress.
  • Eye Scream: Claire stabs Noah in the eye with one of Kevin's epipens and later pokes the same eye with her finger.
  • Fan Disservice: Noah attempting to force himself on Claire in the school bathroom.
  • Fanservice: Noah and Claire's sex scene.
    • Allie performing oral sex on Noah after the Fall Fest.
    • Claire dressed in lingerie and trying on a pair of heels.
    • A shot of Noah's backside as Claire watches him naked from her window.
  • Freudian Excuse: Noah's father had an affair with another woman and his mother killed herself because of it. As such, he killed his father and his mistress eventually developing a dangerous obsession with finding a replacement Parental Substitute and lover in the form of Claire.
  • Genre Shift: It starts off like a romantic drama for the first third of the movie, but then turns into a psychological horror for the other two thirds.
  • If I Can't Have You…: When Claire begins fighting Noah, he attempts to strangle her twice and murder her family.
  • Insult Backfire: When Noah hits on Claire continually in the kitchen, she tells him to "go fuck yourself". His response: "I'd rather fuck you".
  • It Means Nothing: Claire's reaction to her one night stand with the younger Noah.
  • It Meant Something to Me: Their one night stand meant more to Noah than it did to Claire, so he doesn't take it well when she tells him it was a mistake and that they should just stay friends.
  • Lifetime Movie of the Week: It has the makings of a Lifetime movie. A married woman finds out that her husband cheated on her, her relationship with her son is going awry, and she contemplates a divorce. Then she has a one-night stand with a younger man and, rather than leave her alone, stalks her, almost rapes her and tries to make her his by blackmailing her and killing everyone in her life. The ending cements this with her fighting off the guy and effectively killing him when he attempts to shoot her son.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Noah's pursuit for Claire leads him to stalk her, blackmail her, and commit murder.
  • Love Triangle: Garret/Claire/Noah.
  • Mama Bear: Claire becomes one for her son. When Noah is about to shoot her son, she drops an engine block on him, killing him instantly.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Noah threatens to expose pictures and video of his one-night stand with Claire unless she becomes his.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Viewing Claire's family and Vicki as threats towards his "relationship" with Claire, Noah attempts to kill her husband and son and does succeed in killing Vicki.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Claire's reaction the morning after spending the night with Noah.
  • Not Good with Rejection: The main plot is a result of Claire not getting together with Noah after their one-night stand.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: After her one-night-stand with Noah, Claire immediately regrets it and tries to leave as soon as possible, just as Noah walks in to surprise her with a breakfast tray.
  • Oedipal Complex: Noah, who becomes dangerously obsessed with Claire, the single mother of his best friend Kevin who says she's old enough to be his mother. The revelation that Noah's own mother committed suicide due to his father cheating and then Noah murdered his philandering father and father's mistress out of revenge for his mother doesn't help either.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Garret's affair with someone in business back in San Francisco. As Vicki reminds Claire, "the San Francisco treat" and that she supposedly smelled like chocolate chip cookies. Claire and Kevin remind Garret of his affair constantly.
  • Papa Wolf: Noah takes on this role (in his own weird way) while befriending Claire's son Kevin. Saving his life from an anaphylactic shock with his Epi Pen and bashing the bullies when they pick on Kevin.
  • Replacement Goldfish: It's implied Claire could be this for Noah on a maternal and romantic level due to his own mother committing suicide.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Noah attacks one of the bullies threatening Kevin, the bully's gang see Noah and run away.
  • Self-Made Orphan: After his mother killed herself, Noah killed his father and his mistress, blaming them for his mother's death.
  • Stacy's Mom: From the first meeting on, Noah spends his time hanging out with Kevin in order to be closer to Kevin's mother Claire.
  • Stalking Is Love: At least, that's what Noah believes but for Claire, it's just downright creepy.
  • Stalker Shrine: When Claire infiltrates Noah's house to delete the pictures and video of her and Noah, she finds a wall plastered with pictures of her.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: A reoccurring theme for the movie.
    • Claire's husband cheated on her with another woman during a business trip. She was initially paranoid about any business trips he took afterwards, fearing that he was seeing other women.
    • Because of the former and current leanings toward a divorce, Claire cheats on her husband with Noah, leading to his eventual dangerous obsession with her.
    • The backstory for Noah's family involves his father being unfaithful to his mother. Because of the affair, Noah's mother committed suicide and his father went with the other woman.
  • Yandere: Noah. He starts out as a nice guy who lived next to Claire and her family. He develops a somewhat innocent crush on her and bonds with her over their similar interests. When he seduces her, he asks her to let him love her. After their one-night stand, he tries to develop a more intimate relationship with her and does things like make breakfast for her and sending her flowers as an apology for his recent behavior. However, once she expresses the possibility of returning to her husband, he becomes violent, possessive and manipulative. He's even willing to destroy her credibility as a teacher with video and pictures of their one-night stand unless she became his girlfriend. He was also willing to kill her best friend, husband and son, believing that he could finally have Claire's love with them gone.


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