Lifetime’s Stranger Next Door: Is the Thriller Film Rooted in Reality?

Directed by Victoria Rowell, Lifetime’s ‘Stranger Next Door’ (also called ‘The Neighbor’) is a thriller movie that follows Rochelle Sellers, a recently divorced retired law enforcement officer. She lives with her aged father as his primary caretaker after being ostracized by her former department and losing everything she had. As Rochelle tries to settle into her new routine, her life turns upside down when a charming new neighbor named Jesse moves in next door. Since he seems straight out of her dreams, she instantly develops a liking for him.

Soon, one night, Rochelle catches Jesse’s eye, and he becomes obsessively interested in her in no time. However, little does she know that this dreamy crush will become a nightmare for her as the handsome stranger has ulterior motives. The Lifetime movie explores some realistic themes, such as a strange neighbor and the two-faced nature of people. Thus, it is understandable for you to ask whether ‘Stranger Next Door’ is based on true events.

Stranger Next Door is an Original Story

No, ‘Stranger Next Door’ is not based on a true story. Instead, the enthralling storyline can be credited to the creative mind and brilliant penmanship of Camara Davis, who has previously written screenplays for ‘Twice Bitten,’ ‘Christmas for Sale,’ and ‘Fanatic.’ Given his experience in the industry and extraordinary writing prowess, Camara was able to come up with a realistic yet engaging screenplay for the Lifetime thriller.

The mystery surrounding a new neighbor who has just moved in and the curiosity to get to know them more are some natural things that people tend to go through in the real world, which are the predominant themes the movie revolves around. So, it is quite natural for you to scratch your head and contemplate its connection to reality. Furthermore, it is not the first time a movie has touched upon these subjects and instances — a single woman getting involved with a strange new neighbor.

In fact, you find them familiar because they have been previously explored in numerous moves and TV shows. Nevertheless, one of the aptest examples is the 2015 romantic thriller ‘The Boy Next Door’ directed by Rob Cohen. Starring Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, and Ian Nelson, the movie focuses on a charming 19-year-old boy named Noah who moves in next door to his newly separated high-school teacher, Claire Peterson. Soon enough, they indulge in some seemingly harmless flirtation, leading to spending one night with each other. When Claire tries to stop things from progressing, the obsessed Noah gives in to his violent tendencies.

As you might have gathered, apart from sharing similar themes and subjects, ‘Stranger Next Door’ and ‘The Boy Next Door’ share commonalities in their storylines. For instance, Claire from ‘The Boy Next Door’ and Rochelle from ‘Stranger Next Door’ have a failed marriage, and their relationship with their respective young neighbors is similar in many ways. Hence, with all the factors mentioned above in mind, it can be said that despite having realistic and familiar themes, ‘Stranger Next Door’ is nothing but a fictional tale.

Read More: Is Lifetime’s Newlywed Nightmare Based on a True Story?