The Boy Next Door
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the erotic thriller The Boy Next Door, Jennifer Lopez is Claire Peterson, a high school teacher who has separated from her husband (John Corbett). Living alone with her teenage son (Ian Nelson), things are not great, but she's getting by...until a new neighbor moves in next door and everything changes. A foolish sexual encounter with Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman), the nephew of Claire's wheelchair bound neighbor, threatens her career as well as her life as Noah becomes obsessed with Claire. Despite her protests that what happened between them was a mistake, Noah decides the two of them belong together, no matter what may come between them.
The musical score of The Boy Next Door was created by the composing team of Randy Edelman and Nathan Barr. Randy Edelman was a classically trained musician and arranger before delving into film composition in 1973. Since then, he has worked solo and collaborated on a number of scores for television and film, including MacGyver, WonderWorks, Afterschool Specials, The Last of the Mohicans, Leaves of the Tree and more. Nathan Barr began studying music at the age of four. His love for music and instruments led to traveling as Barr searched for rare and unusual instruments. Known for playing a majority of the instruments used in the music he creates, Barr has composed musical scores for True Blood, Grindhouse, Hostel, Cabin Fever, The Last Exorcism, The Big Wedding, Shutter, The Americans and more.
The Boy Next Door Soundtrack features quite an eerie score. My first thought as I listened to the first track, Running, was "STALKER!" The music is dark with electronic and ambient sound mixed in and some very eerie vocals supplied by Lisbeth Scott. The more I listened to this soundtrack, the more the hairs on my arms and the back of my next stood. I actually had the distinct need to peek over my shoulder to see if anyone was actually there (I was alone when I listened to the soundtrack). There were a couple of tracks that hinted at some normalcy. Containing what I consider to be Claire-centered tracks, such as Poets and Nicest Thing, feature pianos, less haunting vocals by Scott and a sense of sad peace. Some, like Drinking Wine, start off with that Claire theme, but end in that stalker sound, letting you know Claire is definitely in some deep trouble.
The Boy Next Door Soundtrack, with its eerie vocals and dark musical sounds is definitely one of those albums that will put a scare into you. Though not created for the horror genre, it definitely has that ability to make hair stand on end and make you jump at loud noises. While I understand that the movie was not received well, that can be no fault of the score created by Edelman and Barr, which I consider perfect for the subject matter at hand. A job well done, deserving of praise.