All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Year: 2006
Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Luke Grimes, Michael Welch, Whitney Able

If I had to choose five horror films that represent the decade of the 2000's, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane would be one of them. The film is an evolution of the post-Scream slasher film that not only felt the need to be tongue-in-cheek, but to also contain sometimes unnecessary comedic elements. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane takes the basic slasher conventions that "Scream" also successfully utilized, but abandons the comedic and self-referential elements for a more stylized, contemporary take on the classic slasher formula.

Mandy Lane is a girl that, like the title suggests, all the boys at her school want to "get with." She has blossomed over the summer from Plain Jane to the hottest, most desired girl in school. After her and her geeky male friend get invited to a party, a freak accident occurs where the host of the party dies while trying to impress Mandy. Flash forward to the following year. Mandy gets invited to a party at a secluded ranch by a bunch of the popular kids. Partying and drinking ensues, and of course, the boys each try in their own way to get with Mandy, who seems uninterested in the whole situation. Needless to say, it doesn't take long before a mysterious killer shows up on the ranch and begins brutally killing off the teens one by one. The film does utilize the now clichéd Scream type ending, but with a minor twist that is still somewhat predictable.

Where All the Boys Love Mandy Lane advances the genre is in style. Whereas slasher films of the past rarely focused on production, cinematography, setting, etc.., the filmmakers behind "Mandy Lane" put a lot of effort into making the film look great. The cinematography is wonderful, and the isolated ranch location is used to full effect. It's like the director is saying, "look, a teenage slasher film can be entertaining AND be beautifully shot." It is definitely the right direction for this type of film, particularly if horror fans want people to start taking these films seriously as pieces of art.

It is sad that, as of even today, this film has not had a U.S. release either theatrically or DVD. Had it been released in theaters, I think it could have revived the slasher genre, which once again has become tired and clichéd ridden, much like "Scream" did in the mid 90's. Horror fans and fans of quality film making should check this film out--not only is it an above average slasher film with interesting characters, brutal deaths, and plot twists, but it is also a wonderful piece of film making with exceptional art direction, cinematography, and direction.

Fright Meter Grade:

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