Mandy Lane is a blonde bombshell, the most popular girl in high school. She’s the fastest runner on the track team and she’s admired for her disciplined, pure lifestyle. It’s easy to see why all the boys (and girls) love “good girl” Mandy Lane although, in director Jonathan Levine’s ( 50/50, The Wackness) independent film, Mandy exposes herself to her unsuspecting friends as being “not so innocent.” This now-infamous horror film is finally being released after being shelved since 2006, and even though the release was delayed, the message still reads the same: Sex, drugs and murder.
Most of the drama takes place during a getaway with Mandy Lane, played by Amber Heard (The Rum Diaries), and her group of popular friends: Red (Aaron Himelstein), Bird (Edwin Hodge) Jake (Luke Grimes) and their girlfriends, Chloe (Whitney Able) and Marlin (Melissa Price). The group stays in a remote cabin, sans neighbors, to just get drunk and unwind with each other. That first night alone is when the horror comes into action; slowly but surely, Mandy’s friends are being brutally killed off, one by one.
The grainy footage adds to the horror element, making it purposefully unsettling to watch at times.
The live-in ranch hand Garth (Anson Mount) does his best to protect the teens from whatever it is that is terrorizing the group, but his efforts fail as another kid is killed. Part “who-done-it” mystery, part “wow that’s a lot of blood” terror, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is nothing short of intense. The film does a great job of keeping the audience guessing until the very last second; it’s full of twists and surprises that give the film edge and it’s cult-like status.
Amber Heard plays the fresh-faced Mandy Lane with conviction; her beauty juxtaposed with a (literal) killer instinct keeps the audience intrigued as to what’s going to happen next. The grainy footage adds to the horror element, making it purposefully unsettling to watch at times. For die-hard fans of horror films, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane may fall short, however, it does it’s best to artfully pay homage to the horror genre, making it at least an enjoyable film to watch.