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All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
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All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

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Plot Summary:
"A group of high schoolers invite Mandy Lane (Amber Heard), a good girl who became quite hot over the summer, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop quite mysteriously."


Review by
Ryan McDonald
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@horrorasylum
Review Date: 16 March 2010 My Rating: out of 5

 

Amber Heard is the title character, a somewhat aloof high-schooler ( tease ) who has apparently recently gotten ‘hot’, and is now chased after by all the boys. She’s invited on a weekend trip by some classmates to a remote ranch house, and reluctantly accepts. Naturally all the boys hit on her, but soon they will find more important matters to attend to, like not getting sliced and diced by a mysterious killer who is picking them all off one by one. Anson Mount plays the 30-ish ranch hand who seems a tad ‘off’ (apparently he’s slightly mentally-scarred) and conveniently pops up here and there.

Unless it’s to point out how hot the ubiquitous Amber Heard is (Answer: Very!), I really couldn’t see any point in this slow, aimless Jonathan Levine horror flick that is surprisingly popular with the online horror crowd. I had no idea what I was to take out of it all, and yet, I knew exactly where it was headed (mostly due to terribly story structure).

I blame the screenwriter, Jacob Forman, mostly, because this film never really seemed to have a point, and never really went anywhere interesting or unique. He also supplies us with some of the more objectionable, boring characters (fond of getting drunk, taking drugs and acting generally a-hole ish) in a genre that has way too many such cretins anyway. I also hold cinematographer Darren Genet accountable for his incompetent camerawork that is meant to capture a sun-drenched look (or at least the 70s grindhouse look, ala “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) but in reality it just a Cinematography 101 screw-up to focus the camera directly at the sun throughout the film. A hundred points off for clearly heading towards a lesbian moment and backing out at the last second. Grrrr. Heard is good, but not enough to be able to save this underdone flick.

OVERALL SUMMARY
Fine work by Amber Heard, a couple of cool death scenes, and hot chicks in their underwear can’t save a dull, transparent and badly filmed horror flick.



Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 06 July 2008 My Rating: out of 5

Amber Heard stars as Mandy Lane in this 70s style slasher that harks back to the good old days of grindhouse splatter flicks in a contemporary way.

When Mandy unexpectedly turns into a ‘hottie’ during summer vacation, she finds herself worshipped and lusted after by all the boys in school and popular with all the girls. When she is invited to join a group of kids for a weekend at a remote ranch house she somewhat reluctantly agrees and as all the boys try and score some time with Mandy, one person finds the ultimate way to get her alone…by killing off the competition.

The film looks amazing with bright sunlit landscapes and dark misty night shots each looking as creepy as the other. The colour palette is wonderful and the camera flares caused by the bright sunlight all add to the feel and style of the film.

The cast do great jobs (I actually liked Anson Mount here and he normally gets on my nerves) with Amber Heard proving that she’s officially hot property.

The script is well written, the characters are well constructed and the story fuses current ideas of infatuation, obsession and manipulation with 70s style aesthetics to good effect.

The death scenes are suitably gory with (spoilers) burst mouths, nasty gunshot wounds and slashed eyes and there are also some disgusting animal carcasses for the cast to roll around in.

The soundtrack is awesome and fits the film perfectly with Bobby Vinton’s Sealed With a Kiss being the signature tune here.

What was somewhat disappointing for me was the long build up and the decision to pretty much let you know who the killer was from the get go (and certainly to reveal their identity by the mid-point).

OVERALL SUMMARY
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is a good film and a worthy addition to the genre, however, it is more psychological horror than slasher and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to as the trailer made it look like a whodunit. Whilst it doesn’t live up to its trailer or the hype surrounding it, it’s a good film and one that I’m sure will grow on me over time. On first viewing however, something just didn’t sit right with me, hence the reason I’m not awarding it more than three stars.




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