Boys Next Door, The: Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caldwell as Alienated Teens

The Boys Next Door stars Maxwell Caldwell and Charlie Sheen as alienated teens, who go on a killing spree.

Tired of being jeered at and ignored, they use murder to express their rage over not being loved, but director Penelope Spheeris doesn’t use their violence as a turn-on.

A movie about inarticulate despair, The Boys Next Door attempts to go beyond other movies about teenage alienation, though Spheeris’ portrait of hopelessness lacks fresh insight into the protagonists’ motivations.

As in other Spheeris’ works, the blame for youth’s problems is too general and ahistoric, such as society’s decadent values and careless, or inattentive parents.

The credible acting of both Caldwell and the young Charlie Sheen compensates considerably for the film’s other shortcomings.