Film Review: All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

Lame excuse for a horror film misses the mark by a country mile.

High-school hottie Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is blonde and beautiful and presumed innocent as the day is long. It is unlikely that any of the boys in her life—except for her reliable buddy Emmet (Michael Welch)—love her, but they all want to bed her. One swain goes so far as to jump off a roof to bedazzle her. Alas, his leap does not quite make it to the swimming pool and his head is slammed on the ground and broken into bloody pieces. In a way, this gruesome event makes Mandy even more desirable. Men have died for her!

For months, Red (Aaron Himelstein) has conspired with his girlfriend Chloe (Whitney Able) to lure Mandy out to his father’s ranch far away from the suburbs. There, he and his sexually frustrated buddies plan to steal her innocence in the traditional way of leering, lusting, lascivious adolescents. But a funny thing happens on the way to deflowering the somber, rather blank-faced beauty…people start dying. There is someone out on the range—hidden in the dark—who is shooting and stabbing up a storm. Even the handsome ex-Marine ranch hand Garth (Anson Mount), the only sober (and mature) guy around, can’t stop the killer. Will our Mandy eventually share the fate of her loutish teenage friends? Or are she and Emmet up to evil we cannot see behind their foursquare, wholesome personas?

One thing is certain, there is nothing in Jacob Forman’s slapdash and heavily contrived script for All The Boys Love Mandy Lane to illuminate plot or motivation beyond the fact that a guy’s got to get some action and a slasher film’s gotta slash. Nor is there a shred of wit or excitement in Jonathan Levine’s confused direction, which features more red herrings than a Scandinavian fish market. Some sequences are so badly lit we miss the action. In fact, the sound recording is so poor in places we cannot hear the dialogue—but that may be a plus considering the inanity of the script. Just reaching theatres after five years on the shelf, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane probably should have stayed there.