Sunday, July 13, 2008

Review - All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Mandy Lane is adored by all the men and all the girls want to be like her. Mandy being quite popular, is invited to a secluded ranch party with some of her local high school classmates. While at the ranch, all the guys are trying to get with Mandy but somehow keep disapearing. As the party continues on throughout the night, it becomes more and more clear that something is not right and someone else is at the party who wasn't invited.

Directed by Jonathan Levine (The Wackness), All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, is a teen horror that has its own unique style. More of a actual dialogue horror, than a splatter or jump scare horror. Mandy Lane feels more like an episode of the O.C. or Dawson's Creek than a horror film for the majority of the movie. The movie is extremely simplistic and formulaic in nature, although it has a decent payoff and a great third act.

I can't say that I loved, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, but it was a decent teen horror film that has an "R" rating. Where Mandy Lane succeeds, is it's way of tip-toeing around the reality that it is a horror/stalker film. Despite the intense mood that is set throughout the film, I kept wondering, "where is the horror?" Meanwhile, back in Dawson's Creek, I am still watching the same guys unsuccessfully trying to get with Mandy Lane. Luckily, once the bloodflow begins, it comes in well-timed moments that have real edge and grit. In retrospect, I really liked the fact that the gore was raunchy and sporadic, it kept the viewer on edge.

Amber Heard (Never Back Down) is Mandy Lane, and she does a good job down playing the part of the illusive girl everybody wants. Lane is extremely humble in her popularity and Heard's performance, felt of someone who was confused by all the attention. The entire film hinges on the fact that everyone, men and women alike are infatuated with her. Which puts a tremendous burden on her shoulders. If she is not believable, the film completely fails. To Heard's credit, she does a good job of pulling it off all the way through to the twist-riddled finale.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane has been sitting on the shelf for nearly two years. It is slated to release this August, however there is no tenative dated scheduled, just the month of August. From what I have read, the studio did not know how to market the film, and after watching it, I see their dilema. It feels like two different movies that are interwined. The first half of Mandy Lane is all the way teen drama, then the movie shifts into much more of the stalker horror genre. It is definately a rated R movie and could not have been cut to PG13 without losing all of its gore and impact. Ultimately, leaving the studio wondering who to market to. Based on the most recent poster (pictured above), the studio has definately pushed the fact it is a horror film and not a teen drama. This film should play well to horror fans and it is far better than the recent PG13 crap like: Prom Night, Shutter, Red Eye, Boogeyman, and P2.

Finally, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is a worthy effort and a quality stalker/horror film. It is worth seeing in theaters and hopefully the studio wont pullback and only give it a limited run. With the right push, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, could be the sleeper horror hit if it only got a release in the U.S.