Friday, January 31, 2014

'All the Boys Love Mandy Lane' (Movie Review)

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane finally arrived on Netflix. Hooray!

Seriously, people in Qatar got to see this movie back in 2008, and here I am reviewing it six years later.  Mandy Lane was floating around the top of the "you've gotta check this movie out" recommendation list from friends and internet well-wishers and with so much hype around it , I had pretty high expectations. Did the film live up to them? Well, sorta.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane tells the story of Mandy; the girl who got "surprisingly hot" over the summer and all the guys at school want to be platonic friends and not have sex with. Just kidding, they all want to have sex with her, and the first twenty minutes of dialog beats you over the head about it. Once it's established that Mandy is pristine and every other girl at school is a tramp, there is a tragic accident at a party that causes Mandy's only friend Emmet to be ostracized. Fast forward a few months and she gets invited by stoner stereotype Red and his friends for a party weekend at his parents isolated ranch.

After the partying and drug-fueled infighting begins, people start to die. There's someone on a Texas ranch, massacring teens, but not with a chainsaw. All joking aside, Mandy Lane gives many a subtle nod to Texas Chainsaw and the setting of a broken down ranch works to the movies advantage. There's even a slow paced chase scene in the middle of the day. The movie does a lot of things right in terms of building tension as the party-goers are unwittingly knocked off and look to Garth the ranch hand as their only protection.

At its core, Mandy Lane is a teen slasher flick. It's smarter than the average splatterfest, but suffers from the Xanax-laced acting of Amber Heard, and some inane dialogue. Ultimately it wraps up with a tight and unexpectedly satisfying ending. Despite some flaws it's still a cut above than many of its contemporaries. Put this one in the mix for your next Netflix horror movie marathon.

Grade: B-

Reviewed on VOD via Netflix. Running time 90 MIN

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