All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is a film which I have been wanting to see for many years now, mainly because, from the trailer, it looked as though it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill slasher horror flick, and I am glad to say that it wasn’t. This film will make you think that you have worked out the premise pretty soon into the film, and then turn your idea on its head.
Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is the most beautiful, untouched girl in school, and because of that, every guy, and girl, is trying to get with her, so that they will hold the award for ‘who cracked Mandy Lane’. After a graphic and fast-paced opening, which explains why Mandy is no longer hanging out with her best friend Emmet, the plot of the story becomes apparent. A high school boy, Red, has his parents ranch to himself for a few days, and decides to invite some of his friends over to blow off finishing the year. The gang get the idea to invite Mandy, and believe that in doing so by the time they come back, at least one of them will have gotten with her. Their plan takes a slight detour however, when people begin disappearing around the ranch as a hooded figure is seen walking the grounds. All the boys are after Mandy Lane, but it seems that one will do anything to be with her.
What first made me think that this is a film different from the others was, as I said before, the opening scene. I will not go into details because I would hate to give anything away, but seeing that kind of highly detailed violence so early on, and the dialogue between two of the characters gave me the impression that I was in for a real treat.
I wasn’t wrong, this film brought everything to the table, the story was gripping and at points had you guessing, after you thought had sussed out the plot of the film. The special effects were great as well, it wasn’t just the cheap scare gore as seen in such disasters as Prom Night, these are actual cringe-worthy effects, so realistic sometimes that you will be holding parts of yourself as a victim is mutilated. The violence was also straight up front and in your face, not blocking what is happening from your view, except for a few scenes, but director Jonathan Levine (50/50/Warm Bodies) still made those work really well. I think that horror films can have both these types of violent scenes and be a good film, they just need to be varied. As the audience needs to know that the violence is happening and see it with their eyes, because that is the reality of it, but what I call ‘muffled kills’ can also be used really well by letting the audience’s imaginations do most of the work. Film makers just need to remember that your imagination can sometimes be more terrifying than anything you will see, your imagination can be your worst enemy.
Amber Heard has starred in some big films throughout the past years (Pineapple Express/Never Back Down/Drive Angry), and this film was one of her first lead roles. She captures the essence of Mandy Lane so well, in showing that she knows how beautiful she is, but doesn’t flaunt it because she doesn’t want every guy chasing after her. A timid, yet strong lead role for Heard, which shows us the talent that she has to offer.
What was great about this movie was that you go into it thinking that it is going to be a ‘guess-the-killer type malarkey, but it turns into something completely different by the jaw-dropping ending. Jonathan Levine has created a film which keeps you tense all the way through, as you attempt to pin point who is slaughtering these kids, and after watching the ending will force you to think back a see the film from a different perspective.
Tag Line: She’s To Die For.
Horror Rating: (:-O) (:-O) (:-O)
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆