*This does contain minor spoilers*
Mandy Lane has apparently become the most desirable girl in high school over the summer. She's definitely not like the other girls her age though. While every guy wants to do everything imaginable to her, she's turned them all down. The only guy she really gives the time of day is her best friend, Emmet. That is until a certain incident at a pool party comes between them. Now nine months later, Mandy has distanced herself from Emmet and has a group of new friends. These friends have decided to invite Mandy to a ranch out in the middle of nowhere for a few days and the guys who tag along hope to accomplish what, up to this point, has been impossible. It turns out to not all be fun and games though. When people start turning up missing, they soon realize that they're not alone and someone is taking their obsession with Mandy Lane a little too far.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is an interesting film, to say the least. It makes you wait a bit before the actual "horror" comes into play. In fact, the first forty minutes or so are basically filled with high school shenanigans. A bunch of kids drinking, doing drugs, having sex, and just things they're not supposed to. While the last half of the film, is pure horror. It kind of teases you at first. It gives you a little taste and then goes right back into high school mode, but after that things just start to snowball until it's just beautifully horrific in every scene.
The film is shot beautifully. For an indie film, it looks incredible. That's not to say other indie films look like garbage or anything. Mandy Lane just has vibrant colors that seem to jump off the screen. One of the things that caught my eye is the way certain scenes were shot. Unique perspectives, shots overlapping others to look like something else, the way objects in front of the camera go in and out of focus, etc. Scenes like when Bird goes to start the generator after the power goes out, Bird confronting the killer, and the car chase with Chloe being chased by the killer in her car are a few examples. It just seemed like something that was worth mentioning as you don't see too many shots, scenes, or anything in films anymore(especially horror) that you can call unique.
I think Michael Welch deserves a nod for his acting in this. It was pretty exceptional. I'd really only seen him in the Day of the Dead remake, which was awful on every level. His performance in this overshadows his performance in Day any way you look at it. His portrayal of Emmet in this in the closing moments of the film are what caught my eye. I mean, you truly believe he's psychotic. It'll definitely make me keep an eye on him with his future projects.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane isn't your average slasher film and that's its biggest strength as it brings something fresh to the table. As I mentioned before, it takes awhile for the ball to get rolling in the horror department. If you're patient though, things do wind up paying off. If you could hold off for Wolf Creek to pick up, then I think you'll be in the clear for this. You can probably guess who the killer is within the first few minutes of the film, but the way things unfold are where the film shines. This is worth seeing for the ending alone as while it does reveal why the killer is doing what they're doing and things of that nature, it leaves a lot of things open ended. While that can either be a sink or swim kind of situation, I think it works well this time around. Mandy Lane isn't the most original horror film to come out in decades or anything, but if every horror film from now on had as much originality as this film does...then there might be hope for horror films yet.