“The Boy Next Door” = 6.5 

     It’s a decent suspense thriller, not to the level of Fatal Attraction, but it seems to have tried, in vain.

     Middle-aged school teacher (Jennifer Lopez) is in the throes of a marital separation, living with her teen son, when she meets the 20 year-old handsome neighbor who moves to town to help take care of his ailing uncle. The first half of the movie is totally predictable, the lonely but gorgeous woman exchanges eye-candy ogles with the “hunk” until one evening they happen to be alone and – guess what – they just cannot control themselves.

     The embarrassed Lopez character puts an immediate stop to any more trysts, but the kid will hear nothing of it and, voila, he becomes her worst nightmare. The stalking continues until a violent climax (excuse the expression) which rises in intensity, suspense and sheer fright.

     The suspense is good, albeit so many implausibles dot the script that it takes away from the realism. Lopez is a good actress, but she’ll never be a great actress. Now that she has become a fixture on American Idol, it’s hard to see her as anyone but Jennifer Lopez.

     The young man who plays the over-sexed psycho is actor, Ryan Guzman, who has played in a couple “B” movies of late, but not to this level.  In truth, he was more believable as an actor, than Jennifer Lopez. Then again, he’s not as famous. Look for him to rise in the business.

     The movie heightens to a high level of tension. It’s a winner for people who like stories about fright, terror and panic. Don’t expect this to be mentioned in the Academy Award ballots.

     I give The Boy Next Door a 6.5 out of 10.