Elisha Cuthbert has been labeled a couple of things during her time on screen. The first is “scream queen“, which we’ll get into a bit later, and the other is “sex symbol”, which we will touch on now. One of Cuthbert’s sexiest feature film roles came in The Girl Next Door, and it can now be seen on the super streamer Netflix.
In The Girl Next Door, Elisha Cuthbert plays Danielle, the new neighbor to high school senior Matthew Kidman, played by Emile Hirsch. Matthew is ambitious, albeit shy. He’s just been accepted to Georgetown University whose tuition he can’t afford. But life for Matthew is about to change drastically when Danielle moves in next door.
The night she movies in, Matthew spies her in her bedroom window undressing. Lost in her beauty, Danielle catches him peeping, rushing over to his house and knocking on the front door. Though Matthew is in a panic, Danielle doesn’t rat him out and is more surprised when his parents suggest that he shows their new neighbor around town.
The two begin to bond, culminating in a daring skinny dip session in the swimming pool of Matthew’s high school principal. Matthew then works up the courage to finally kiss Danielle at a classmate’s wild party. Danielle doesn’t turn down the kiss.
The next day, though, Matthew’s bubble is burst when his friend Eli drops some big news on him. Danielle is a porn star. Not sure what to do, Matthew takes Eli’s advice by taking Danielle to a sleazy motel, acting cold to her. Danielle realizes that Matthew has caught on to her past, so she ends their brief relationship. She also realizes that she can’t outrun her past as much as she tries, so she decides to return to the adult film industry.
Matthew realizes the error of his ways and tracks Danielle down at a Las Vegas Adult Film Convention, where he also runs into Kelly (Timothy Olyphant), who is an adult film producer and Danielle’s menacing ex.
Matthew speaks to Danielle, convincing her again to leave the industry and give them one more try. Kelly sees things differently. He kidnaps Matthew for all his troubles, telling Matthew he cost Kelly $30,000 because Danielle wouldn’t participate in his movie. To let Matthew off the hook, Kelly tells him to steal an award from adult film mogul Hugo Posh and bring it to him. As soon as Matthew enters Posh’s home, Kelly calls the cops on him.
Kelly continues his torment of Matthew who, in turn, asks Danielle for her help. Danielle calls two friends from her porn days and together they all decide to make a video for Posh, using Matthew’s classmates as actors in the film. The success from the shoot allows Matthew and Danielle to get close again and the two put an exclamation mark on their relationship by making love in their limousine.
What exactly is this video and, in the end, will it help Matthew get out of the trouble Kelly has caused? Will Danielle be able to leave her past behind?
The Girl Next Door was a modest hit for Elisha Cuthbert at the box office, bringing in $30 million on a $20 million budget. The movie was directed by Luke Greenfield and written by a slew of writers that included Greenfield.
Elisha Cuthbert spoke about her role as Danielle when she was named TV’s Hottest Woman by Maxim in 2013. She called the honor flattering while tossing out a few other names she felt could also take the title. “To think that one person could be the most beautiful when there’s Kaley Cuoco, Sofia Vergara, Zooey Deschanel? They’re all stunning,” she told Maxim. “I’m not gonna fight anyone about it, though. I’ll accept it with grace. But being on a show with two other beautiful women [Eliza Coupe and Casey Wilson], this is gonna make going to work very uncomfortable. I don’t know, this might be a curse.”
Elisha Cuthbert then spoke about what she saw as the appealing part of her Danielle character, “To be honest, I think one reason guys liked that character so much is because I didn’t go fully nude,” she said. “My character really could be the girl of every guy’s dreams, instead of having them see her naked and going, ‘Oh, that’s not my thing.'” Remember Weird Science? Kelly LeBrock never got naked. She didn’t show you everything. I think that’s why it resonated with more men than it probably should have.”
Not only has Elisha Cuthbert been labeled a sex symbol, based on some of her previous work, she also carries the label scream queen. Cuthbert appeared in the horror movies House of Wax and The Captivity, while also appearing in the TV series 24 and Are You Afraid of the Dark? She actually is listed at #35 on Entertainment Tonight’s Top 40 Scream Queens of the Past 40 Years.
Elisha Cuthbert isn’t only known for her sex appeal or horror background. She has appeared on many sitcoms and drama series that include the aforementioned 24 where she played Kim Bauer, daughter to Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer. She was also seen on The Forgotten, One Big Happy, The Ranch, and the highly underrated sitcom Happy Endings.
Up next for the sexy scream queen is a return to her horror ways with The Cellar. She is presently filming the crime thriller Bandit. You can catch Elisha Cuthbert in her sexiest role in The Girl Next Door on Netflix.