ByJanna Dk MacDonald-Walsh, writer at
Both known and forgotten horror films of the 20th Century
Janna Dk MacDonald-Walsh

Going into this film, I was a bit nervous, after looking at several other reviews, and the rating on IMDB, but in all honestly, I actually liked the film. Don't get me wrong for one second, it has its flaws, and head shaking moments, but it's most certainly not Jennifer Lopez's worst film. The story is about Claire Peterson, played by Lopez, who is currently separated from her husband, Garrett (John Corbett) and is trying to figure out what to do with her life. Two of the biggest joys currently in her life are her son, Kevin (Ian Nelson), and her job as a high school English teacher. Just before the school year starts, a young man named Noah Sandborn moves in next door to help out with his elderly uncle, and strikes up a friendship with Claire and Kevin. One night, however, Claire has a bit too much to drink after a failed date set up by her friend, Vicky (Kristin Chenoweth), and has sex with Noah while Kevin is off camping with his dad. Claire tries to downplay what happened between them, and wants to forget about it, meanwhile this only hurts and angers Noah. Ignoring Noah is only made much more difficult for Claire when he transfers into her class, despite her not asking or approving a transfer request. Now, before I continue on with the review there are two things that I have to make clear that I was not aware of before watching the film, and felt that it should been made clear in the trailer. When I first saw the trailer, I thought that maybe part of the reason why the boy might have gone a little bit insane with jealousy is because he was a young impressionable teenager. This is not a far-fetched thought considering how much the current media has been focusing on inappropriate relations between female teachers, and teenage male students. As it turns out, "the boy next door" isn't a boy at all, but a 20 year-old man, looking to go back to school because he didn't originally graduate. The second thing that I will make clear is that any inappropriate actions that might (keyword "might") have taken place between Claire and Noah took place before the school year, and before he was in her class. The reason why these two things are important, is because you feel little to no sympathy for Claire's character in the trailer, and you almost feel like she has taken advantage of a young impressionable boy. Having found out this is not the case, I was able to relax a little more while watching the film. Now, my major complaint that I have throughout the film is that Claire feels and acts guilty throughout the whole film despite the small fact that: SHE DID NOTHING WRONG! I mean sleeping with a young 20 year-old may not be the smartest decision she ever made, but he is clearly an adult who is well past age of consent, she's separated, and she had no idea that he was going to hack her computer to transfer himself into her class. It almost drives you crazy watching how uncomfortable she is throughout the film, despite that half of the stuff he does to intimidate her is illegal. This guy not only stalks her, he touches her inappropriately after she says "no", and assaults her; she shouldn't feel guilty about what he has done, she should be calling the police on his butt. It's not as if they wouldn't believe her, he does nothing for himself, because he leaves evidence everywhere. The ending of the film will tie off everything all nice and neatly, to the point here the whole audience should feel satisfied. The film all in all isn't bad, I would definitely recommend it for a cheapy night at the movie, or wait for the rental to become available.


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