Dina Meyer in The Boy Next Door (2008)

Oh Boy, Here We Go Again

In need of inspiration for a new novel, Sara Wylde (Dina Meyer) moves to a small town for peace, quiet and inspiration although she quickly finds herself distracted by the toned body of Michael (Christopher Russell), the boy next door, who Sara soon discovers is the son of billionaire. But when there is a murder in town all of a sudden Sara is the number one suspect as the victim appears in a series of photos she took whilst she was looking for inspiration. With the police not believing she is innocent or her claims that she is in danger Sara is going to have to solve the case in order to save herself in more ways than one.

There are many types of movies from epics to stinkers and there are those which I term as "face valuers" which "The Boy Next Door" falls under. What I mean by "face valuers" is that 90% of the movie is about the look, not to be confused with style, but the look of the actors such as their attractiveness when close up or how they look sitting in front of a pool with the moonlight glistening off the water behind them. And "The Boy Next Door" is very much about the "face value" with Dina Meyer looking as attractive as ever whilst there is also Christopher Russell whose ripped body climbing out of the water is the sort of thing you got in one of those old bodice ripper novels.

Christopher Russell in The Boy Next Door (2008)

Of course there is more to "The Boy Next Door" than just the look there is the storyline but it is basic stuff as we have a crime and a woman who finds herself the main suspect forcing her to solve the crime to save herself which puts her in danger. It is regular stuff with nothing new to make it stand out from the thousands of other movies which do the same thing. What is worse is because the focus of "The Boy Next Door" is on the visual appeal the detail is not there when it comes to the story and so frequently it is less than subtle when it comes to dropping clues, throwing them at the audience is probably a better description. It also doesn't take much thinking about to work out who is guilty or how stupid some of things are which Sara does.

But in a way I am being harsh as "The Boy Next Door" is a typical TV movie aimed at a specific audience and it delivers what that audience wants which is not just the look but also a storyline which doesn't provide to much of a mental challenge or anything which will cause them to have to really think about things.

What this all boils down to is that "The Boy Next Door" for me was just on the wrong side of being average partly because it was less than subtle but also because it spent far too much time focussing on the visual appeal rather than the detail and depth.