Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I had some really good things about this movie from 2006 ‘All the Boys love Mandy Lane’ so I set about making it a priority to check it out. So after watching Mandy and them do what they do I was bit curious as to why I heard so many good things about this movie. Not that it was a bad movie mind you but it certainly wasn’t anything that transcended the genre. After reading some of the comments and analysis regarding this film, and dare I say ‘over-analysis’ I think I get it. Since not every single thing regarding this movie happens in front of your face and requires one to kind of figure out what may or may not have happened or led up to something and being that people are completely not used to this sort of thing, this is certainly a premise that lends itself to over-analalization (not a real word).

Seems Mandy (Amber Heard) had a hell of a summer biologically speaking. We don’t know what the hell she looked like before the movie started but we sure as hell know that right about now she’s something to see, and this seismic shift in the high school hottie structure does not pass unnoticed. When high school super jock / asshole Dylan (Adam Powell) asks Mandy to come to a party, Mandy is like cool with that but she has to bring along Emmett (Michael Walsh), who was like her number one boy in her pre-hottie days who unfortunately looks the same this year as he did last year.

So they go to the party, everybody and their mama is pushing up hard on Mandy, especially Dylan, which doesn’t please Emmett in the least which causes him to be upset at Dylan something fierce, resulting in one heck of a bloody nose. However, just a few short minutes later Emmett manages to convince a drunken Dylan, with powers of persuasion that would impress Satan himself, to do something so incredibly stupid that it would costs the boy quite dearly.

Unfortunately Dylan’s accident has made Emmett a pariah, even to Mandy. Mandy however has become so cool that she is now THE person to hang out with and has agreed to go on trip with all of the really cool kids to rich kid Red’s (Aaron Himmelstein) out of the way Ranch. Also along for this glorious trip of death are insecure skinny whore Chloe (Whitney Able), insecure not so skinny whore Marlin (Melissa Price), inadequate pretty boy Jake (Luke Grimes) and obligatory Black Guy Bird (Edwin Hodge). Attempting to supervise these rowdy youths is rugged ex-marine Ranch Hand Garth (Anson Mount). As we can probably figure out there’s a madman loose on the ranch picking off our mad drinking, underwear wearing, pill popping group of horny kids but all isn’t quite what it seems. Can you say ‘twist’?

SPOILERS AHEAD: So after our kids start dying there was some mystery about who was doing the killing, but not much as he will be revealed shortly after he gets down to doing what he is doing if you haven’t figured it out already. Also the twist really isn’t so much of one as I pretty much figured Mandy had to be somewhat behind all this nonsense soon after the slaying started, and I’m not really all that smart or clever. What sets ‘All the Boys love Mandy Lane’ apart from most slasher flicks is that it’s never made quite clear to us ‘why’ Mandy hated these kids so much that they had to die. We saw no pigs blood being dumped on her, no studs stood her up on prom night as far as we could see and no ugly girl bets were made against her to our knowledge, so we have no idea what turned Mandy into such a murderous skank which of course leaves it open for discussion and analysis, which is nothing short of brilliant. The movie itself wasn’t so brilliant as it was pretty much a run of the mill horny, drunk teen, run, no cellphone signal, scream and die slasher flick, albeit one that is presented well by director Jonathan Levine, but by omitting Mandy’s motivation, whether it was by design or just lazy script writing, gives internet movie watchers something to passionately talk about, which is something you can’t really do when gallons of pigs blood is dumped on the heroines head resulting in death for everybody. Motivation is pretty clear right there.

The acting is fairly perfunctory for a film like this as the young handsome cast ran, screamed and died pretty good. Amber Heard is plenty good looking and looks great in her underwear and the film looks and sounds fantastic. The movie wasn’t all that scary, but then how many horror movies made recently actually are scary? I can’t think of any at the moment. But with its open ended story telling style and good pacing, ‘All the Boys love Mandy Lane’ is a nice entry into the horror movie genre.

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