The House Next Door

  • 2002
  • Movie
  • R
  • Thriller

This picket fence thriller about a suburban malice suffers from insufficient character development and a scarcity of scares. Having endured a sexual assault in Chicago, Lori Peterson (A.J. Cook) anticipates a quieter life in the country. Her supportive husband, Tom (Matthew Harrison), is often out of town on business, but Lori befriends with next door neighbor...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This picket fence thriller about a suburban malice suffers from insufficient character development and a scarcity of scares. Having endured a sexual assault in Chicago, Lori Peterson (A.J. Cook) anticipates a quieter life in the country. Her supportive husband, Tom (Matthew Harrison), is often out of town on business, but Lori befriends with next door neighbor and model housewife, Helen Schmidt (Theresa Russell), even though she doesn't care for the NRA proselytizing of Helen's husband, Carl (James Russo). Carl, a low-level crook, conducts various illegal activities with the blessing of local sheriff Vern Crank (Frederic Forrest) and runs the local village like Little Caesar: No-one's willing to cross him. In addition, Carl resents Lori for calling attention to the fact that Helen is a battered wife. During one of Tom's absences, Carl slips into the Peterson home to put a scare in Lori. Unfortunately, no one believes her — Tom questions Lori's stability, and Vern's not about to make trouble for his hotheaded buddy. When Helen disappears, everyone believes Carl's cover story about Helen staying at her mother's. Worse, Lori's friend, Monica (Sean Young), comes to visit and disappears after the two of them do some snooping around Carl's backyard. Vulnerable and aggrieved, Lori takes matters into her own hands and decides to find out what Carl keeps in his basement. This woefully obvious lady-in-distress chiller baldly exploits its serious underpinnings, which involve the serious issues of spousal abuse and rape.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This picket fence thriller about a suburban malice suffers from insufficient character development and a scarcity of scares. Having endured a sexual assault in Chicago, Lori Peterson (A.J. Cook) anticipates a quieter life in the country. Her supportive hus… (more)

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