Tuesday, October 8, 2013

REVIEW: All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

All The Boys Love
Mandy Lane

Amber Hard, Michael Welch


September 6, 2013 (VOD)
October 11, 2013 (LIMITED)

Jonathan Levine


1 hour 31 minutes



Before "50/50" and "Warm Bodies" were made, director Jonathan Levine had a smaller horror film under his belt called "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane."  This film premiered back in 2006 at the Toronto International Film Festival to a very positive reaction and was actually bought by Harvey Weinstein as a gift for his brother's distribution company Dimension Films.  Unfortunately, Bob Weinstein didn't like his brother's gift, and thus the film was sold off to another smaller studio, which eventually shut down almost immediately after buying this film.  Now it's 2013, over 7 years since the film first had its world premiere, and now The Weinstein Company's Video On Demand company Radius picked this film up to finally be released.  Unfortunately with all of the buzz that has surrounded this movie for so long, the actual product had something to live up to.  Sadly though, the film isn't really that good overall.  It clearly shows potential throughout and has a good twist at the end, but the overall movie is just the typical horror film with some uninteresting characters and a lot of gore.

Mandy Lane is the type of girl that every guy in school wants to get with.  She's not the most popular girl, but she is the most beautiful and sexiest of them all.  So when she says yes to an invitation to go to a ranch with five of her classmates in the middle of nowhere, the boys will stop at nothing to be the one who will pop her cherry.  As the weekend progresses, the kids start getting picked off one by one by a mysterious party crasher and the body count starts to increase more than usual.  Who will die next, and who will be left standing in the end?  Either way, this is a weekend they won't soon be forgetting.

My main problem with the film is how the characters are written.  None of them, not even Mandy, come off as particularly likable or relatable, rather just teens who want to get some dirty action.  While this makes sense for any typical horror movie, this film seemed to be something more unique and original judging by the buzz behind it and from the good things I've personally heard from friends.  I mean, it's not the fault of the performances, which aren't that bad for a standard horror movie, it's just that they're written so one dimensional that the filmmakers don't give us any way to relate or care for them when they meet their demise.  Screenwriter Jacob Forman never went on to write any other films after this movie's premiere, and I can kind of see why unfortunately.

I'm glad to see that Jonathan Levine went on to do other, better work after this movie's premiere back in 2006.  With this film, he showed the potential that has luckily been liven up to over the past few years, but he didn't fully have the technique locked down.  If you want to see prime examples at how talented Levine is, then check out "50/50" and "Warm Bodies" if you haven't already.  "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane" as a whole is an uneven, formulaic, and somewhat unoriginal horror movie that never had me fully terrified and just left me shrugging as it ended.  I can see why people would enjoy the movie, as Amber Heard is very good as the title character, but other than that, this is a film that you can easily skip with no regrets.

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