When I first heard about this film a couple of years ago, I thought it was a rape-revenge flick. Given the title and the vague images I saw (which were just shots of Mandy’s face), I didn’t have much to go on; the film had only an overseas presence but not much of one here in the U.S. So when I heard Anchor Bay was releasing it after seven long years of waiting, I jumped on the chance to watch it. And wow…was I wrong about the premise! I wasn’t even close. This is a slasher flick true-and-through, and although my initial perceptions were wrong, this is a great movie and worth checking out!
If you are not familiar with ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Anchor Bay:
Sixteen-year-old Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) has been courted by every available man in her small Texas town to no avail. When the normally reclusive enchantress reluctantly agrees to accompany her new friends on a weekend getaway, the initially irritating adolescent advances made toward her rapidly turn menacing. As the sun falls behind the hills a volatile mix of drugs, alcohol, and hormones turns explosive. While the festivities rage on, the number of party-goers begins to mysteriously drop one at a time.
I could tell after the first 10 minutes that I was going to like this film. It’s darkly comedic in some aspects, however I don’t think that was director Jonathan Levine’s intention. Still, it’s hard not to find humor when you have a motley crew of characters like in this film.
ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE is shot well and looks good from a production standpoint. The acting is sharp with Amber Heard portraying the titular character. I’ve enjoyed her work for several years, and I hope to see her career continue to flourish. I also like seeing Anson Mount onscreen as well; my wife and I watch HELL ON WHEELS every now and then, so he’s always a pleasure to see in a show.
The special effects in the film are also good. There’s some nice bloodshed, and gore-hounds will like several scenes in this film. My particular favorite occurs when the killer shoves a shotgun barrel into a girl’s mouth and then rams it forward; the resulting jaw-break is pretty impressive and it even made me cringe a bit!
Although ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE is entertaining and well made, it does have its flaws. For one, there’s no real resolution. **SPOILER ALERT** We get to see Mandy and Emmett meet up, but then they start discussing the suicide plan, and she refuses to follow through with it. I never understood why she would do the killings to begin with, let alone why she would off herself afterwards.
But the movie itself is definitely a watcher, and I suppose you could make your own decision about why the events happened like they did. I am recommending this one, and I suggest you check out director Levine’s blockbuster hit WARM BODIES after you watch this one. It’s interesting to see how he has grown as a director since this 2006 film.
ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE hits stores today.