All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) Movie Review
Written By: SN
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Jonathan Levine
Producers: Joe Neurauter, Chad Feehan, Felipe Marino
Writer: Jacob Forman
Date Released: September 10, 2006
Amber Heard as Mandy Lane
Anson Mount as Garth
Michael Welch as Emmet
Whitney Able as Chloe
Edwin Hidge as Bird
Aaron Himelstein as Red
Luke Grimes as Jake
Melissa Price as Marlin
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is an innocent young girl who is the perfect object of every guy’s fantasies in her high school – every girl wants to be her, every guy wants to be with her. She gets invited to a weekend getaway at a ranch with her new friends. After a couple of drinks and drugs, the night falls down on them and a series of killings ensue. One by one, her new friends are murdered brutally by a hooded killer. She then befriends the mysterious ranch caretaker, Garth (Anson Mount), with the hopes of getting some help to escape the killer.
As with any slasher film, there’s a good amount of gore evenly distributed to keep viewers enticed throughout the film. As expected, the gory murder scenes happen after characters show any form of intimacy or affection towards each other. Between shotguns being forced down someone’s throat to near decapitation and eyes getting slashed, what’s a worse buzzkill than getting shot after kissing your high school crush?
The Grave Review
After Jonathan Levine’s mainstream success with 50/50 and Warm Bodies, his teen slasher follow-up is somewhat lost in the mix. Having seven years in between its debut at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and its lowkey theatrical release in select cities in 2013, it’s no doubt that not a lot of people have heard of this film or that Amber Heard was even the lead of this obscure slasher.
That being said, Heard portrayed her “mysterious good girl” role well by keeping a timid disposition throughout the film despite all the attention she got from basically every man she encountered. All the while, her supporting cast of unknown actors were given stereotypical high school roles – the queen bee, the slut, the jocks, and the nerd – together with the mysterious brooding neighbor, Garth. Despite their mediocre roles, they were able to portray being killed a little bit better than other slasher films with obnoxious screams that you can hear for an entire 45-second murder scene.
The one thing that wasn’t played out was the reveal of the hooded killer at about the halfway point of the film. Turns out that Mandy’s friend, Emmet (Michael Welch), has been keeping a close watch on the group of friends from the moment they set out for the ranch. Now, with the unusual reveal of the killer happening at the first half of the movie, it would make you think: what’s going to be the climax of the film? Is this it?
This is the unexpected twist of the film. By posing these questions to the viewers early on, Levine and Forman were able to keep the audience’s attention and even give the plot of the film worth a second chance. It’s just entertaining to see these misogynistic teens get murdered and it’s even more entertaining to learn what the great twist is at the end (because there’s always a twist in teen slasher films).
What is there to like about this movie? The atmosphere of this flick; from the old farmhouse that was reminiscent of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to the slow and deliberate pacing, the color scheme, all the way down to the music. It was almost ethereal, and it was a nice change of pace. The suspense was palpable here too, although it could not come close to being afraid of any of the characters other than Mandy. They all deserved what they got!
Together with its unexpected twist being the saving grace of the film, some creatively shot scenes – like the whippet montage and the single camera zoom into focus scene where Chloe (Whitney Able) was running towards Mandy for help – actually gave the film its creative indie vibe, which kind of makes it a cut above the rest of the forgotten slasher films in the 2000s.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) two graves out of five graves.
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