All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

all the boys love mandy lane poster 2006
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun grindhouse feel

Feels like the movie could have pushed it further

Movie Info

Movie Name:  All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Studio:  Occupant Film

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  September 10, 2006 (Toronto International Film Festival)/October 11, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

all the boys love mandy lane amber heard

Oh, Mandy…you came and you gave without taking…

All the boys love Mandy Lane (Amber Heard)…and some are even willing to die for her.  When a tragic accident happens at a party, Mandy becomes a bit of a pariah while her friend Emmet (Michael Welch) takes the blunt of the blame.  Trying to put her past behind her, Mandy is joining Chloe (Whitney Able), Red (Aaron Himelstein), Bird (Edwin Hodge), Jake (Luke Grimes), and Marlin (Melissa Price) at a secluded ranch party under the watchful eye of the ranch hand Garth (Anson Mount).  There is a killer stalking the ranch, and Mandy might be his desire or his victim.

Directed by Jonathan Levine, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is a horror film.  The movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006 but was not released in the United States until 2013.  It received mixed reviews.

I had heard about the mixed reviews for the movie, so I held off watching it.  When I did finally watch the film, I did like the grindhouse aspect of the movie.  It felt like a classic outsider revenge thriller along the lines of Massacre at Central High, but the movie takes those expectations and then twists them…for better or worse.  Due to the film’s storyline, a ******spoiler alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

all the boys love mandy lane bodies

I always love it when killers take the time to pose their victims

The story starts out like a classic ’70s horror film.  A horrific accident leaves a person dead, another blamed, and Mandy in flux since the death revolved around her.  The movie then goes to the trope of a countryside retreat.  There are a few suspects lined up at the beginning, but the tormented Emmet is soon revealed to be the one hunting the others.  This doesn’t come as much of a surprise until the last scenes which reveal Mandy is behind the killings and is manipulating Emmet.  It is both good and bad that Mandy’s motivation isn’t explained, but it also tries too hard to twist the story for shock value.  Yeah…you don’t necessarily see it coming (it is a bit more of a surprising twist than other films), but it doesn’t feel rewarding enough for the viewer.

The cast is rather generic.  Amber Heard does give a good performance as the lead and turncoat friend, but she is surrounded by the typical teen stars that make-up every slasher movie.  You’ve got jocks, stoners, outcasts, tormented vet, etc.  This is part of the idea of the movie, but I wish it had been more reflexive instead of simply intentional stock characters.

all the boys love mandy lane kiss ending

There’s a killer with a gun chasing you…you reach the car…let’s kiss

The movie is rather low key in its visuals.  Most of the night scenes are too dark (like in many horror films), but the day scenes in the empty farmlands are better shot than some horror films.  The mowed fields and the vastness adds to the characters desperation to get away from the person they think is the killer…but there is nowhere to go where they can’t be seen.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is an intentional throwback that attempts to be modern at the same time.  The movie will please horror fans, but it also feels like there are some missed opportunities surrounding it.  The movie’s characters range from acting smart to deciding to kiss instead of getting in a car and running away (a real roll-my-eyes moment).  It is worth checking out however…Mandy Lane could catch you too.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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