All the Boys Love Mandy Lane Blu-ray Review
When Mandy Lane walks down the hallway at school, she turns the heads of her classmates, whether they’re a boy or a girl or single or taken. Even the camera knows what parts to focus on. She’s a shy type and unwilling to sleep with a guy just because he thinks she’s hot. She’s especially loyal to her best friend, Emmet (Michael Welch, THE TWILIGHT SAGA), who in turn treats her as something more than eye candy.
Early on, Mandy (Amber Heard, MACHETE KILLS) is invited to a party complete with beer and a swimming pool. It’s there that one of her classmates jumps to his death, which she and the rest of the partygoers blame Emmet for.
The following year, Mandy is invited to classmate Red’s (Aaron Himelstein, animated series THE LEGEND OF KORRA) farmhouse. Other guests: the snobbish Chloe (Whitney Able, 2010’s MONSTERS), the respectable Bird (Edwin Hodge, ABC’s COUGAR TOWN), the Mandy-obsessed Jake (Luke Grimes, 2008’s ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT), and Jake’s girlfriend, Marlin (Melissa Price, 2005’s THE KID & I). There’s also the farmhand Garth (Anson Mount, the made-for-TV movie SEAL TEAM SIX: THE RAID ON OSAMA BIN LADEN), who is years older than the rest and so should be more helpful than he actually is.
They go for swims, engage in sexual activity and go to town on the beer supply—but that’s not why they’re part of the body count. If you can’t figure out who’s behind the kills once the first victim winds up on the (other) wrong end of a shotgun, then you too may have bumped your head by the pool.
ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE was the first movie directed by Jonathan Levine, who would go on to helm 2008’s THE WACKNESS, 2011’s 50/50 and 2013’s zom-rom-com WARM BODIES. It’s clear that Levine has no business involving himself in a horror movie, as his debut lacks any clever kills or characteristics that genre fans would remember after the credits roll.
What could be most unsettling to viewers is the killer’s motive. Flashbacks show him being ignored and belittled by his peers; this has caused him to go on a rampage where he uses any means necessary (guns, knives and the like) to turn his tormentors into his victims. Even though ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE is given horror settings (an isolated ranch) and characters (a bimbo in silk short-shorts), the idea of a high schooler taking revenge on his classmates with violence is far too common of an occurrence in real life to stomach as entertainment. It is an uncomfortable watch for all the wrong reasons.
ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE premiered at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and bounced between studios after that (one opted to sell it; the next closed shop). From there, it played at random festivals and stayed out of the general public eye for seven years, until it finally turned up in a handful of theaters. And then it went to home video, where it will likely be ignored yet again.
ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE is given a solid video presentation, with accurate colors and tones (the exterior daytime scenes have a cold feel to them that recalls some early low-budget slashers that may have partly inspired the movie), as well as fine details in skin, clothing and sets throughout.
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Subtitles in English and Spanish. Both the dialogue and soundtrack come through without any notable issues.
Feature commentary with director Jonathan Levine: Levine dishes out tidbits on the cast, style and overall production of ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE.