Sunday, February 16, 2014

Character Spotlight- Mandy Lane- All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2013)

**This post contains spoilers**

Mandy Lane is a hot commodity at a local high school in Texas. Mandy is pure and innocent. No drugs, no alcohol, no wild parties. Mandy is uncorrupted, she's the last of a dying breed, and she's a prime target for the popular clique at school. 

Red, Chloe, Jake, Bird, and Marlin launch a plan to break Mandy out of her shell during a weekend at Red's ranch, but Mandy's best friend Emmet crashes the party. Mandy dropped Emmet as her nerdy best friend after a tragedy, but Emmet is still obsessed with Mandy. A harmless weekend of fun turns into a chaotic fight for survival, when a deranged and murderous Emmet unleashes his wrath on Mandy's new friends. 

When you look at the pic above, the first thought that pops in your mind is "Poor little Mandy." She's just trying to do the right thing as a teenager. Stay away from drugs and alcohol, focus on her school work and good grades, and she doesn't crack under peer pressure. Okay, she accepted the invitation to Red's party, but Mandy fought the urges to succumb to temptations during a wild night.

But Mandy shows her true colors towards the end. Chloe is the remaining survivor from the party, but Emmet is seconds away from finishing her off during a lopsided chase. Chloe runs into Mandy's open arms for safety and comfort, but Mandy drives a knife into her gut. To make matters worse, Mandy bails on an agreed suicide pact with Emmet, and she turns the tables on Emmet during a fight. Mandy murders Emmet, she rescues a wounded Garth (the ranch hand for Red's father), and Mandy escapes the massacre as the hero with Garth.

Everyone was wrapped up in Mandy's cloak of purity and innocence. They wanted to believe in this seemingly harmless good girl with no stains on her track record, but underneath her calm smile, Mandy is hiding a malicious and nasty alter-ego. Imagine someone luring you into an open field of green grass with the smell of fresh baked cinnamon raisin bread. You're in a trance, because the smell is infatuating, and when you finally let your guard down BAM! Someone slaps a bear trap on your foot. Mandy is the cinnamon raisin bread AND the bear trap.

Just think about something for a second. Emmet and Mandy came up with the plan to murder everyone at the ranch together, so Emmet knew about Mandy's bloodthirsty persona. Still, Mandy used Emmet. She played him for a fool, because Mandy is irresistible, and she's an expert at playing mind games, and using someone else's emotions against them.

And there's nothing Oscar worthy about Amber Heard's performance, but the last shot in All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is eerie and chilling. It's a flashback of a scene at a gas station from the early stages of the movie. Mandy is with the crew, and she's walking on the train tracks. Everyone else is too busy fooling around and cracking jokes, so Mandy is off to herself, and no one is paying attention to her. There's a close up shot with this knowing and diabolical look on Heard's face. Red and his friends are walking into a death trap, and a killer is quietly standing next to them. Mandy was basking in the glory of the upcoming slaughter fest for her sheeps, because they passed the point of no return.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2013) won't change the landscape for horror films, and it's not a groundbreaking entry for the slasher sub-genre. But you can learn one important lesson from Mandy: Innocence is deadly.

If you're interested, you can read my spoiler review for All The Boys Love Mandy Lane by following this link-  

Or you can read the minor spoilers review here-

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