I have to admit, slasher films are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Watching horror films as a teen, slashers always seemed to provide the right mix of gore, sex and shocks my still-developing mind craved. When I began to study films, I felt secretly justified to discover how surprisingly complex the slasher film can be. When it comes to slasher films, even the worst of the worst have some interesting psychological quirk that usually make viewings bearable. Thankfully, there are still excellent slasher films being made these days and even some that manage to do something new.
Although this film is clearly in the slasher genre, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane never feels like a typical slasher film. The structure and pacing fits the established pattern but director Levine manages to keep things feeling fresh with interesting visuals and a terrific soundtrack. The look of this film is polished but not over-produced (a hard balance to find) and there’s enough good gore to please the genre fans without becoming gratuitous.
Amber Heard plays the title role fairly well with a good mix of girl-next-door and object of desire. The others do a decent job, with no-one particularly bad or good. As supporting characters they serve their roles well, increasing tension and threat as they’re systematically killed off around the main character.
This film helps to bring a little spark back to the fading slasher genre, a new take on an old story. Though not as revolutionary as some believe, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is entertaining, scary and sexy and makes me love the slasher genre even more.