Director: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Michael Welch, Edwin Hodge
There’s something about Mandy all the boys love
Mandy Lane is without a doubt the most popular girl in high school. Not only is she drop dead beautiful, she is kind, shy, smart and she doesn’t let her popularity get to her. Even if she could have had any boy or girl in her school, she still has made the choice to stay a virgin.
She has been invited to join a few of her friends on a trip out to a ranch for a weekend of fun with booze and hooking up. It doesn’t take long before pretty much all of the boys try to figure out a way to get with Mandy, but after a while things start to happen that should bring the focus on staying alive instead of taking the innocence of Mandy Lane.
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane sure has had an interesting road to getting a release in the US. The film started to make its rounds on the festival scene in 2006 and was supposed to get a theatrical run in 2007 before the film ended up in limbo. The film actually had a DVD release over here in Europe in 2008, but it would take five more years before the film was made available in the US, even getting a theatrical run this year and before the year is over it will be made available on DVD/Blu-Rays for all Americans to enjoy.
So is the film worth the wait? Yes and no. It is a film that tries to do something new with an old premise of a bunch of kids going out to an abandoned place to party and bad shit starts to happen and it stays interesting for two-thirds of the running time. The characters are all pretty much clichés, but they are presented in a fresh way somehow.
Amber Heard, who plays Mandy, has to be special in this film for the entire concept to work. She is perfect for the part and together with the camerawork of director Jonathan Levine, they make the character become a girl that any guy would want to get their hands on. Even if the other characters don’t get as much screen time as Mandy, the rest of the actors also give good performances and I particularly took a liking to Melissa Price as Marlin.
While the focus on characters in a teen slasher film is greatly appreciated and something that should have been done more, the film also has some big flaws. The final part, which include a big twist, frankly sucks. Even if the film has a great setup, good dialogue and interesting characters, the horror element needs to work for the movie to become good. I would like to compare this to Ti West’s The Innkeepers, another film with a great setup that also fails in delivering the actual horror.
Director Jonathan Levine should get props for doing a lot of the things correct on this film. He gets good performances out of his actors, the camera work is nice and the pacing is good. Even if this film didn’t get a release for several years, he still managed to keep himself busy and had a decent hit this year with the zombie film Warm Bodies.
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane feels very fresh at first and I wish that it had a better final part. They had the characters, dialogue and premise all down but failed to deliver the actual horror. You might enjoy it if you can appreciate the potential it had, even if it fails to deliver it in the end.