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When I first heard about the film 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane' I was actually greatly excited. Having then seen trailer on TV for the film the other week I decided that I just had to go and see the film for myself as soon as possible. It came out on February 15th and therefore I was there waiting at the door, greatly enthusiastic about the prospect of seeing this film I had been longing to watch. The film comes from the director Jonathan Levine, I had not seen any of his films before but he has previously directed 'Love Bytes' and 'Shards'. In directing 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane', Levine has entered in to new territory as horror is a genre that he had not covered before, and given that he had no directorial background in the genre I feel that he has done incredibly well here. The film is described by Total Film as 'THE OC meets FRIDAY THE 13TH' and I think that this is probably a fair way of putting it.
Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is a virginal high school student lusted after by all. Set in the state of Texas, the film progresses with Mandy Lane at its helm as people get killed off one by one in true teen slasher style. It all begins to happen at a party that comes about as the school term comes to a close. In the remote location of an isolated ranch, the party takes place under the supervision of the farm hand Garth (Anson Mount), the only adult on site. Other than Garth, all at the party are teenagers and with everyone drinking, smoking, and having fun; things look set to take a turn for the worse at any moment and sure enough they do.
What may sound to be a very generic set-up actually makes for a brilliant film. The plot may not be the most original in the world however it sure is engaging. There is plenty of blood and gore to keep all you hardened horror fans entertained and never does the film disappoint. You will always be on the edge of your seat as you watch this film and there are times where you can't help but turn away. As well as being some strongly disturbing scenes visually, there are also others that make horribly graphic use of sound. At times it is difficult to take, but always it impresses with its visual and aural display of shocks and horrors.
At times it is difficult to take in that this film really is a horror film. The visual sheen of the film is more akin to 'The Virgin Suicides' than 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', the superb cinematography belies the films relatively low budget. There is just something about this film visually which makes it stand out, cinematographer Darren Genet has captured a great beauty with the way in which 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane' has been filmed. Prior to the release of this film Genet had been a very much unknown entity, however he is now sure to be a wanted man by many, an extremely highly sought after cinematographer.
In terms of the acting within this film I feel that it fairs extremely well. The young cast do the film proud and all those involved really impress in their performances. Amber Heard as the films talking point and love interest 'Mandy Lane' I feel is one person in particular that performs well in her part. All the boys really do love Mandy Lane, and Heard plays the part of the popular blonde to perfection. Everyone aims to impress her within the film, and outside the film she is the one that impresses us all as an actress. I have no doubt that she will be getting a lot of work as a result of the talent that she has showcased here, and Amber Heard will surely go far as an actress.
I have always been a huge fan of the horror genre, and 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane' is certainly not one that disappoints. Countless teen slasher films come and go which are just too generic to ever be remembered. I lose track of the number of films of this sort I have seen in recent years, however the ones that I enjoy and can recollect fondly are few and far between. I was ever impressed as the film progressed, and this is in no small part down to the fine way in which the cinematography has been executed, and the always impressive acting. The visual glow of this film is what makes this film stand out, and the high calibre of acting that is shown helps add to this. What could have been an extremely generic and predictable tale is actually a thoroughly enjoyable film, and although horror enthusiasts will no doubt see the ending coming from a mile off; 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane' is still sure to impress and I have no doubt in my mind that this is a film you will enjoy.
Personally I feel that 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane' provides a new and interesting twist in the tail for the done to death genre of the teen slasher. There will no doubt be others that disagree with me here, but I personally find the film incredibly enjoyable and although it is at times more than a little predictable; it is ever enjoyable and there is always plenty to keep you entertained. The cinematography is stunning, the acting excellent, and Jonathan Levine has done a brilliant job as Director. The film comes together perfectly and all elements of it just seem to fit together and provide for an entirely enjoyable film that I will happily be purchasing on DVD when released. My DVD collection tends not to expand as much as I would like, but I know for certain that this is one that can definitely guarantee my ownership as soon as the opportunity arises.
Director: Jonathan Levine Year of release: 2008 Genre: Horror Language: English Runtime: 90 mins BBFC Rating: 18
Production Year: 2006 - Horror - Director: Jonathan Levine - Original Language: English - Classification: 18 years and over - Starring: Anson Mount, Michael Welch, Aaron Himelstein, Edwin Hodge, Amber Heard, Whitney Able