Director – Jonathan Levine
Cast – Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Michael Welch, Edwin Hodge, Aaron Himelstein, Like Grimes, Melissa Price, Adam Powell
Release Year – 2006
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Here is a film I had been hearing about for quite some time and FINALLY got a chance go view it. I am a big fan of the “slasher” horror sub-genre and was really hoping that this film would deliver the goods since good slasher films are pretty much long gone these days. This film does have it’s faults but for the most part I did enjoy it and found it to be a fresh breath for the slasher sub genre.
As you may have guessed…this film is about a girl named Mandy Lane(Amber Heard, she was Seth Rogen’s high school girlfriend in Pineapple Express). So who the heck is Mandy Lane? She is the girl you fell for in high school – but never got. She is the girl you drooled over in chemistry class- yet never had any “chemistry” with. Yeah…THAT is Mandy Lane. The film begins with Mandy and her best friend Emmet at some asshole’s house for a party. He invited Mandy over simply so he could mack on her and “get with” her. After some failed and un-modest advances by the asshole, Emmet comes to her rescue and gets an embarrassing beating from the asshole. Later on in the party Emmet and the asshole are patching things up on his roof, and in an attempt at vengeance for what he did to Mandy…Emmet tricks the drunk asshole into jumping from his roof into his swimming pool to impress Mandy. So the asshole jumps…and the asshole dies. Fast forward nine months later and Mandy is no longer friends with Emmet due to the tragic event, and has found a new group of guys and girls to hang with. Her friends decide to head to their buddy Red’s(Aaron Himelstein, of Fast Food Nation and the show Joan of Arcadia) farm house for a weekend of fun. Mandy is reluctant to go at first, given that she does not partake in the drugs/booze/sex combo, but decides to go anyway and bond with her new friends. All is well at Red’s farm house and the friends are having a good time until someone starts hacking up her friends one by one, of course none of the friends really notice given they are out partying and figure the “missing“ friends are out f*cking. Soon enough dead bodies begin to show up and Mandy must fend for her life as someone from her past is out for some vengeance, or is it the Garth, the family’s creepy and shadowy ranch hand? Stay tuned for details.
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is a film created by a few guys who really know the slasher sub-genre. Writer Jacob Forman really put together a classic slasher and director Jonathan Levine put together the film to provide us with just enough suspense and blood to keep you entertained. The direction and cinematography for this film are very well done and “good direction” never seems to go hand-in-hand with slasher films given all the cheesy slashers we got over the years. With wide-panning shots of the farm house and subsequent farmland really give the sense of “isolation” for this film and set the “scream if you want but help is not coming” tone for the film.
One unusual aspect that this film employs is that the slasher’s identity is given away pretty early in the film. The beginning of the slasher carnage had this film coming off as a “who dun it?” type slasher flick, until the slasher’s identity is made quite obvious. I really enjoyed that aspect as it made this film a simple slasher with no silly sub-plots in it…yet. The gore in this film as not overdone although it was sufficient enough to please slasher fans and those who want to see a “serious” horror film.
Now onto my main fault with this film…the pacing. Director Jonathan Levine did so well with every other aspect of this film but his pacing in this film was a bit slow and I feel it held this film back. The film’s kills were spaced a bit too far apart and either a few more kills should have been added or some of the dialogue scenes should have been cut out to help this film movie better and keep the viewer’s interest. My next gripe is the film’s ending. PSEUDO SPOILER: The twist in this film did get me, and I was glad about that, but I felt the end sequence was a bit sloppy and lost the film’s composure. This ending did leave me thinking “Ok…why? Why do that?” but my questions were never answered. Some of you may enjoy endings that leave you to determine the unanswered questions, but I personally enjoy the psychology behind “unordinary” actions and would have loved to see that question answered before the credits rolled.
Overall, this is a good slasher film that although flawed should still provide you with a good watch and one of the better slashers in modern day horror.