Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Women in Horror: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

* Spoilers *

Everyone notices that Mandy Lane has gotten really hot over the summer and they all fall over themselves to get her attention. She is invited to a party and she only goes on the condition that her best friend Emmett can come too. They go to the party and Mandy is predictably hit on a lot. Emmett comes to her rescue, but causes the guy's death by suggesting he jump off the roof to impress her. Fast forward nine months. Mandy has gotten more popular and separated herself from Emmett. The cool crowd invites her to a party on a ranch to drink and do other typical delinquent teen activities. Everything is fun and games until one by one, the teens disappear.

Mandy Lane is the all American girl: gorgeous, virginal, aloof, and extremely bland. For the life of me, I have no idea why boys won't leave her alone except that she's pretty and she doesn't want them. Despite being as exciting as linoleum tile, the cool people at her school include her in their party, while she looks at them condescendingly, doesn't really interact with any of them in any way, and looks bored. I swear Amber Heard went to the Kirsten Stewart school of acting, where hair flipping and empty gazes are all that are needed. I was hoping that by the end, Mandy would have some sort of personality, but she really doesn't. The ending's surprise twist is that Mandy was complicit in all the murders that Emmett committed. Instead of killing herself with Emmett like they planned, she kills Emmett, leaving herself free to blame all the murders on him and continue her life. She proves to be an incredibly bland and manipulative person that relies on her looks and doesn't have any real relationship with anyone. The other women in the film are just as vapid and annoying as Mandy, except they also put each other down, have no self respect, and give sexual favors to the men who treat them badly.

The guys in this film are unbelievable. The majority of them believe that girls are commodities to be owned and conquered. Mandy is unwillingly groped, kissed, and touched by many of these boys because they think it's their right to do so. Even her own boyfriend acts like anyone can just come along and take her. They all prove to be flat stock characters that are incredibly annoying and misogynistic. The only likable guy in the film is Emmett, the murderer. He doesn't buy into their views on anything and treats Mandy like a person (even though he is just as infatuated with her as everyone else). It's pretty sad when the best person in the film kills just about everyone in it. I hated just about all the guys in the film because of their frat boy, misogynistic tendencies.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is a stereotypical, formulaic slasher film with misogynistic male characters and bland, vapid female characters. The film was fairly frustrating to get through and became quite boring after a while. I liked the songs used in the background, but other than that, it's mediocre at best. I wish it would have changed up the typical tropes of the genre or even had dynamic characters.

My rating: 3/10 fishmuffins

1 comment:

Niala Wesley said...

I knew before going in that she was the killer (or at least one of them) and that it would be revealed near the ending and yet when it came, instead of being letdown when that part came, I was happy that it meant that there was actually something to the Mandy character. I agree that she was bland the entire movie. I couldn't even dislike her throughout because there was just nothing to her. No motivation, bloodlust, bitterness, fear turned hatred, psychoses, she was just dead inside. Except that I've seen some characters play an inner void and they made it breathtaking and deep while Mandy was just one note.

I didn't get why all the boys loved Mandy either. The other girls were just as pretty and love them or hate them, they had personalities. We knew what each girl that wasn't Mandy was feeling. Fears about their weight or having too much pubic hair or wanting a certain boy to like her or wanting to live. I felt like if Mandy died she wouldn't even care. There was nothing to illicit strong emotion from her. She just existed. Maybe that really is what being dead inside would be like. She transcends sociopathy because she doesn't just have no remorse for others but doesn't care about anything at all, not even herself.

I had a lot of sympathy for the girl she stabbed because we saw her fighting for her life. It may not have been a fulfilling life and she may have been a bully and gotten bullied and used snorting and sex to get through the day but there was fire there. She was flawed but gave her all to try to stay alive. Only to be killed by Mandy, who was as much of a walking dead as a zombie.