Caught up this morning with All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which was scooped up for a U.S. release by the Weinstein Co. here after a wildly successful midnight screening on Saturday. As often happens at film festivals, I found the movie to be a tad overrated. But there's no denying first-time director Jonathan Levine is trying to do different something with the slasher-flick genre, incorporating Columbine-era themes of teen alienation and violence into the usual Friday the 13th formulas.
Although it's primarily a horror movie, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane isn't really all that scary or disturbing. It is most effective, really, as an exploration of adolescent sexuality, especially when it focuses on Mandy, the prettiest and most sought-after girl in school, who is either oblivious to the effect she has on the opposite sex or just hasn't let it go to her head. Played by the excellent Amber Heard, whose sexy confidence and poise reminded me of Chloe Sevigny, Mandy is a fascinating and original heroine who ends up rewriting all the rules in the slasher-film canon.