While TheWrap‘s Inkoo Kang wrote “Lopez is far and away the best thing about the film,” she ultimately joined the majority of the critics panning this weekend’s wide release from Universal Pictures by concluding it’s “neither good nor bad, nor campy nor scary enough to be in any way memorable.”
“‘The Boy Next Door’ is a lot like our own neighbors, just there,” Kang wrote. “You could make the effort to sneak a peek, but it probably wouldn’t be worth your while.”
And based on the rest of the rotten reviews piling up on Rotten Tomatoes, that description was pretty kind.
Seattle Times critic Moira Macdonald gave the flick, directed by Rob Cohen (“The Fast and the Furious”) and co-starring Ryan Guzman (“Step Up Revolution”), just one star for being, among other things, “utterly predictable.”
“You could say that as a comedy, ‘The Boy Next Door’ is fairly entertaining — particularly when Noah, who very quickly turns all snarly and stalker-ish, tells Claire, ‘I’m not following you. I live next door,'” Macdonald wrote. “By the end, it’s not much fun at all, but at least it’s over.”
Las Vegas Weekly critic Josh Bell thinks, if anything, Lopez’s latest thriller “seems destined to become a camp classic of some kind.”
“What’s this poor lady to do? Make lots of ill-advised decisions, obviously, since she clearly has never seen ‘Fatal Attraction’ or one of its many imitators. Sadly, the makers of ‘The Boy Next Door’ have apparently seen all of those movies, and they put together a laughably ridiculous facsimile, with painfully obvious plot twists and moronic characters,” Bell wrote. “‘Boy’ is so terrible that it’s actually quite funny at times, thanks especially to Ryan Guzman’s intensely wooden performance as the title character (he acts primarily with his abs).”
Slant critic Ed Gonzalez compared the movie to “a Lifetime movie embarrassed to have found its way to theaters.”
“Lopez’s marked lack of interest as she watches Guzman dial the crazy up from Subtle Punnery to Aggressive Graffiti (and beyond) speaks only to how dully the film flips the gender switch on ‘Fatal Attraction’ and calls it a day,” Gonzalez wrote. “In the end, if there’s any glimpse of true insight here, it may be the film’s admission that it’s allergic to subversion from the start.”
While speaking to Meyers about her resume of bad movies, including “Anaconda” — a 1997 giant snake horror she’s happy to admit “sucked” — Lopez explained “nobody bats 1,000.”
“I’ve been doing this a long time now. There’s some that I go, wow, it was so amazing to be a part of that,'” Lopez said. “And some that you mention the name and I’m like, ‘What? Huh? Which movie? I’m sorry, I don’t remember that.”
Next time she appears on NBC’s “Late Night,” she may not remember “The Boy Next Door” either.