My review of “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival

I attended the World Premiere of All the Boys Love Mandy Lane at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was featured in the Midnight Madness section.

From that night on, I couldn't stop talking about it. This film is a gem in so many ways. Young first time director Jonathan Levine has crafted a brilliant twist on the "old school" teen slasher flick. With a script by Jacob Forman, who clearly has a passion for the genre, Levine assembled a frighteningly talented cast of young actors who made these characters so real that it seemed improvised. As it turned out, much of it was, as pointed out in the Q&A which followed the screening. When they partied, they partied. And it results in a natural, carefree ensemble performance that makes this film what it is – pure fun.

Production values belie the film's meager budget (500K?). For example, the effective use of neutral film stock, under-processed at times, gives segments of the film a home movie look a la Blair Witch. The selective use of slow-mo and freeze-frame add to the "big movie" feel of this little indie. As with all good horror films, Levine infuses the film with an appropriately foreboding score. And as an added bonus, the soundtrack features 80's classics which enhance the "old school" feel, especially if you're "old" enough to have been "in school" then. There's plenty of blood and gore here, of course, but tongue is also firmly planted in cheek.

File these names under "people to watch": Michael Welch, Aaron Himelstein, Luke Grimes, Edwin Hodge, and Whitney Able. Amber Heard is Mandy Lane (she also shines in Alpha Dog). Anson Mount rounds out the cast and is a familiar face to many. Many of the cast were present at the screening, also seeing it for the first time along with the audience. Those I chatted up afterward were humble and gracious, and worthy of all the attention this film deserves. Although I do consider myself a horror fan, of the 30 plus films I saw, this is among the cream of the crop. Or should I say cream of the chop. Put All the Boys Love Mandy Lane at the top of your list.


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

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  • Author: Larry Richman
  • Posted: September 22, 2006
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