All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Year: 2006
Production Co: Occupant Films
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Jacob Forman
Cast: Amber Heard
Wading into the crowded pool of the slasher film as a first time director is an almost insurmountable challenge. There is so little you can do to stand out with plot, characters or story twists no matter how accomplished that hasn't been done, although Jonathan Levine's feature debut manages them all perfectly well.

All that's left is style, and that's where All the Boys Love Mandy Lane stands out as Levine employs both a slow, dreamy pace that's worlds away from the kinetics of Evil Dead or Friday the 13th and at the same time has a real sense of filthy grit.

Amber Heard is indeed beautiful as the seemingly untouchable Mandy, who all the boys at her middle American high school are besotted by. She has a creepy best friend Emmet who eggs on the school jock at a late night party to jump off the roof into the pool, promising the fool all the delights an impressed Mandy will bestow.

We stay with Emmet after the jock jumps, looking satisfied with himself for a minute before the camera slowly tracks down to the jock's inert body in the water, a pool of blood forming and kids rushing to his aid while Amber stares daggers up at Emmet.

Months later Mandy joins a small group of stereotypical horny teens for a weekend away at a remote farm owned by one of their parents, staffed only by a hunky ranchhand who shows up at inopportune moments.

After all coupling like dogs in heat but failing to woo the eternally cool, distant heroine, the carnage starts. The film gives the game away a little early and it's then up to the late night pursuits and horrible killings to retain your interest. You might see the twist coming a mile away, but the film does a good job with a very old chestnut.

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