All the Boys Love Mandy Lane took forever to arrive in North America. I think it finally got its US theatrical release two years ago? I can’t remember. Of course, it didn’t hit a lot of theatres near me or I was incredibly busy, either/or, I can’t remember. But some blogging buddies in UK were raving about this back then so I was really intrigued by this. It finally hit Netflix a few months ago and I had planned on seeing it a little earlier but it didn’t make the highest votes back in October for the Halloween marathon and then I typically take months of break from horror afterwards so that’s what I did. I have no idea what happened to me during the cruise but I started craving watching horror movies while on vacation so here we are…I have a review for Honeymoon coming up as well.
Enough rambling, let’s check this out!!!
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Amber Heard, Michael Welch, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Edwin Hodge, Aaron Himelstein, Luke Grimes, Melissa Price, Adam Powell
Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is an orphan and the pretty teenage girl and a virgin that all the guys want but she avoids them and hangs out with the not so popular, Emmet (Michael Welch). However, after an accident at a party, she stops talking to Emmet and befriends Red, Chloe, Marlin, Jake and Bird. When they all decide to head out to Red’s family ranch for a weekend away, they meet the ranch hand Garth (Anson Mount). As the night progresses and the boys want to get Mandy’s attention, things start falling apart as their group starts dropping one by one.
I don’t have quite the same good vibes as I’ve read about All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. Its a little mixed. The question I keep asking myself between finishing the movie and writing this up is: Does a really good finale make up for a not so enjoyable beginning? That’s a valid question, right? While I try to decide on how I feel, let’s take a deeper look at this.
There is no doubt that Amber Heard has a sweet and sexy look, I guess. I have girl crushes and she’s not one of them but her role as Mandy Lane was pretty good. She definitely was a plus in this one. My biggest issue with All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is the fact that it exaggerates (at least I hope) the high school/teen phase stupidity. I didn’t like any of the characters and pretty much all the deaths were well-deserved because A) stupid choices and B) asshole, jerk, douchebag, bitch component. I’m not being mean and I normally don’t have an evil heart that wishes for bad things to even the worst people. These characters were downright annoying and the fact that it bothered my boyfriend a whole lot made it even worse because I had a whiny viewer right next to me who was complaining about the stupidity even more. Its hard to like a movie where it works so hard to make these characters horrible and well, Mandy Lane just so sensible, in contrast?
Although, I think I’m getting the purpose of that right now as I write this. Hmmm….
But, the film doesn’t trick us. Fairly soon in this, we start seeing the plot unravel. The first reveal is definitely no surprise and there’s even one creepy moment that might take some creepiness, even though it was expected if you watch enough teen slashers or slasher in general. One thing, I do really like is the location itself. The secluded ranch location might not be completely original but the way its filmed and the tone is done rather well. There is no denying that I enjoyed that aspect.
Now, the ending. It was unexpected and if you think back, you’ll see that the questions you might have asked as to why certain characters made certain decisions suddenly seemed to piece together. Much like, how I liked the contrast in the characters developed here, as shallow as they are and ridiculously illogical at times but isn’t that the essence of slasher flicks? While I’m talking about character development, the pacing of the movie was done pretty well also as to how they set up the whole movie to help us connect a little more with who Mandy Lane is and this girl that all the boys are obsessing over. Another aspect of slasher flicks are the kills. While I thought there were some creative ideas here, some of them are still rather predictable.
Overall, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane comes up right down the middle for me. On one hand, I didn’t like the characters in the beginning and it kind of made me dislike the movie. Luckily, I made it through the first half, as the plot started revealing clues to build up to that final reveal, it started to get better and the best part of this movie was how they chose to end it. That ending was unexpected and just out of the world good. However, conclusion in this is that: while I didn’t dislike All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, just for an epic plot twist ending, I probably wouldn’t visit this a second time. But, it is worth it to check out for that ending, at least once 😉
Have you seen All the Boys Love Mandy Lane? Thoughts? Did you like or dislike it?