“Don’t trust your neighbor,” proclaims the tagline for The Wrong Boy Next Door and that’s certainly true when it comes to Lifetime films.
Seriously, in a Lifetime movie, your neighbor is either going to be a seemingly nice woman who is going to end up trying to steal your baby or else a really hot guy who never wears a shirt and who is secretly plotting to kill you and your friends. In the case of The Wrong Boy Next Door, we get the hot psycho who is always wandering outside without a shirt on. John (Travis Burns) may be intriguing but he’s also dangerous. It might be fun to watch him while he’s out in his garage but if he starts watching you back …. look out!
The Wrong Boy Next Door really does capture an essential truth. Bad boys are sexy and the more dangerous the better. While watching the film, it was easy for me to yell that Katie (played by Calli Taylor) was making a huge mistake by trusting John but, honestly, I probably would have made the same mistake back when I was in high school. First off, there’s the fantasy of being the one girl who can reform a bad boy. Secondly, there’s the fact that, when you’re a teenager, you do stupid things because you think you’re smarter than you actually are. I mean, really, that’s the whole appeal of being young. It’s the only time in your life that you can get away with being totally dumb and irresponsible. That’s why there are people in their 30s who are already feeling nostalgic for high school.
Having watched the film, I can say that Katie is one of the greatest Lifetime heroines ever. From the minute the movie starts, she’s getting in trouble. First, she gets caught vaping at school and this leads to her being suspended for a few days. It’s during that time that she first spots John walking around outside. She invites him inside and, two minutes later, they’re kissing. Then, when Katie returns to school, one of her teachers spots her checking her phone in class. When the teacher demands the phone, Katie throws it at her and literally knocks the teacher to the ground! (The school’s principal later says that the teacher looks like she got hit in the face by a baseball.) Go Katie!
So now, Katie’s under house arrest! That means that she has to wear one of those ankle bracelets that beeps if you leave your front yard. The detective in charge of Katie’s house arrest is played by none other than Vivica A. Fox so you know that if Katie breaks the rules, she’s going to be in a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, being stuck in her house is kind of a problem because Katie suspects that John might be as good a guy as he’s pretending to be. But how can she investigate without going outside!?
The Wrong Boy Next Door was a hell of a lot of fun, largely due to Calli Taylor’s energetic and sympathetic performance as Katie and Travis Burns’s menacing turn as John. As is typical of Lifetime’s “Wrong” films, director David DeCoteau kept the action moving at a brisk pace and Vivica A. Fox brought her usual flair to yet another no-nonsense authority figure. All in all, The Wrong Boy Next Door is one for which to keep an eye out.