Nothing makes a horror quite so enjoyable as a bunch of clueless, terrified teenagers, and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is absolutely no exception to the rule. Set in a small Texas town, and brimming with teen angst and sexual tension, this indie horror has all the trapping of your typical slasher flick, but it takes a wildly unexpected turn that’s worth tuning in for.
The film’s titular character is a high school anomaly, an outsider and misfit who had a serious glow-up on summer and is now considered to be the most attractive girl in her school. Mandy (Amber Heard) is an orphan living with her kind aunt and, prior to her transformation from duckling to swan, her aunt and her best friend, Emmett (Michael Welch), were her only friends. Mandy doesn’t forget all about Emmett once the popular crowd starts to pay her attention, however; she insists that her pal go wherever she goes. But after a horrible tragedy, an already unpopular Emmett is completely ostracized by both Mandy and the rest of his classmates.
Several months later, Mandy accepts an invitation to go with a group of popular classmates to a cattle ranch for the weekend. Now, seasoned horror watchers already know that White people, camping, cabins, and/or no WiFi are an absolute recipe for disaster, and disaster is exactly what happens. Once at the ranch, soft-spoken, reserved Mandy finds herself in the middle of a bloodbath. Stuck with no power, no help for miles, and no one to hear them scream, Mandy’s shallow new posse are desperate to survive with absolutely no clue how to.
Most people will go into this film thinking that they know exactly what comes next, and most people would be completely, shockingly wrong. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is a slasher flick that keeps you guessing and questioning long after the final credits, and the myriad conversations that can be had around the plot are reason enough to watch. Though it could have been executed better in many areas, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane was quite impressive, especially considering it’s small budget.
I give this one 3.5 stars.