All The Boys Love Mandy Lane has been struggling for mass release since 2006. This is understandable, as it is unlike most horror films. However, just because it is different from most movies, that doesn’t automatically mean it is a beautiful and unique snowflake.
Where All The Boys Love Mandy Lane fails is that it has an air about it that seems presumptuous – thinking that it is, in fact, something different. Yes, the story of the popular beautiful girl that all the boys are drooling over is something that people can connect with – as it is familiar. It is a relatable story that both men and women should have an example from their own life to compare to.
Having a pseudo-emotional connection to Mandy Lane is great although once the killer is revealed the story immediately unravels. With the early exposure, the twist ending can easily be deduced. The characters are cookie cutter – the beautiful virgin, the jock, the stoner, the slut, etc. Amber Heard’s portrayal of Mandy, along with the rest of the cast’s acting, isn’t anything spectacular. Perhaps the characters are close enough to home that they only had to phone in their performance. The setting of the film is predictable – a remote ranch where communication is cut off. The lone ranch hand only falls suspect to being the bad guy for a minute. All of this may not deter most viewers, but still, if the villain had been kept under wraps, perhaps the conclusion would have had greater impact.
Despite a deficiency in depth for the narrative, the cinematography is commendable. Mandy Lane, overall, seems to lack proper, conventional lighting. This could easily work against a decent movie, yet the muted style is purposeful and is, more or less, the most attractive quality. The Blu-ray transfer is clean despite the gritty atmosphere it attempts to capture. Where the film lacks in substance, the Blu-ray sadly does not make up for in extras. The only bonus feature is a commentary with director Jonathan Levine.
Awaiting a release in the United States for seven years, it’s a wonder if those who hold the rights knew all along that Mandy Lane is not as creative as some have claimed it to be. Despite the film being passed around, causing this limbo, perhaps the lack of originality – from characters to setting to a twist ending – is what kept it shelved so long.