All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

2011-12-02 17:09
What it's about:

Outsider Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) blossoms into a beauty at high school and is relentlessly pursued by all the boys. She accepts an invitation to spend the weekend on an isolated ranch with a group of friends, but rebuffs the boys' constant "sexual advances" during the drink and drug fuelled partying. Slowly guests start vanishing, and the friends realise there is someone or something hiding in the darkness, waiting for a chance to get at them.

What we thought of it:

It's Friday night and you need a date movie, so what do you choose? Something delightful and well made like Kung Fu Panda (2008) or Wall-E (2008), or something nasty and shocking that will remain briefly in your memory like a fat bug splattered on your windscreen? If you're under 18, then All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is aimed at you and will deliver everything you want from a slasher movie. If you're a fan of slashers and horrors, this is all very old hat, so lower your expectations.

Starting with a disturbing scene that lays the ground for the story, but gives away a little too much of the plot, Mandy Lane is clearly trying to leave visceral scares. There are some decent deaths, but only one that is truly memorable – these folks really need to up their game if they're competing for the same audience as Saw (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) and Hostel (2006, 2007). But the pacing is brisk and the wait between murders seems to pass in a flash.

Amber Heard is hot (as the film's marketing boasts) in the role of Mandy Lane, but often comes across as a very pretty but blank slate. This woodenness fits the mystery of the character to a point, but is irritating when it becomes apparent that that's all there is to her. The rest of the cast have been plucked from some trendy clothes catalogue and they die with aplomb amid all the teenage partying.

The plot is generic, lacking surprises and you'll probably guess the twist around the halfway mark. The lack of any sort of background to Mandy's character, which would've made the story a lot less contrived, and the absence of her history leaves a hole that no amount of gore can fill.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is recommended if you want to see a slasher movie with a young and pretty cast. But the violence and nudity isn't nearly extreme enough to rate it as deliciously trashy and it's more like a plain doughnut with a wiff of garbage to it. While unexceptional, it's miles better than the similar Prom Night (2008), which is being released in August.

- Ivan Sadler

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A string of brutal murders take place when a group of friends invite beautiful Mandy away for a weekend on a ranch with the express purpose of getting into her pants.

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