Mandy Lane is the girl that all the boys want, and all of the other girls want to be. Innocent and withdrawn, Mandy Lane serves as the ultimate challenge to boys looking to prove their manhood. Despite her quiet nature, she manages to befriend the popular kids at school. After accepting an invitation to a vacation at Red’s ranch, Mandy finds that her quiet getaway with friends has turned deadly, when a hooded figure begins picking off members of the party, one by one.
While I appreciated the hard R rating, I feel as though the movie could’ve done more with the freedom of an adults only film. For instance, it should’ve been gorier. Many of the deaths were offscreen, or just out of sight of the camera. But if the director has already opted for an R rating, why not take full advantage of the limited audience, and make it as bloody as possible? Also, the boys could’ve been creepier. The teens who lusted after Mandy were weird, but with the adults only rating, there are a lot more uncomfortable situations that could have occurred to add tension. For example, one of the boys could have attacked Mandy, or even threatened her. Also, why was the funny raunchy dialogue only in the beginning of the movie? As the night goes on, the partygoers almost stop talking completely. The movie started strong, with funny dialogue, interesting camera shots, and lots of buildup to the ranch. However, the second half of the movie was just about Amber heard looking pretty, saying “I don’t want a drink.”
The film relied too much on Amber Heard’s looks, and the result was a static character, and a somewhat boring film. The film is very beautiful, and mostly shot from the ground, looking up. This was a great way to take advantage of the agrarian set, and at the same time, create an eerie, predator-like viewpoint. Jonathan Levine successfully used the surroundings to create a sense of isolation, while also providing contrast, with an alluring setting. Although the film wasn’t perfect, Levine showed great potential with his filmmaking.
In the end, you’re left wondering why all of the boys love Mandy Lane so much. The film never made it clear exactly what was so special about her. Don’t get me wrong, Amber Heard is a beautiful woman, so I get that boys would go after her. But when the tagline for your film is, “Everyone is dying to be with her. Someone is killing for it.” You can’t help but place more of an emphasis on the girl’s personality. Why is she special? Does she play an instrument? Can she speak a different language? Does she have six toes? What is it about this girl that all of the boys are willing to die for?
Also, the finale was extremely disappointing. The showdown between the last two standing failed to make an impression, and proved to be the weakest death in the feature. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your film is, if your characters aren’t interesting, and the ending’s a letdown, there’s no reason for people to see your movie again, or recommend it to anyone. This movie is worth watching if you come across it, but there’s no need to hunt it down.