Directed By: Jonathan Levine
Written By: Jacob Forman
Cinematography By: Darren Genet
Editor: Josh Noyes
Cast: Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Michael Welch, Edwin Hodge, Aaron Himelstein, Luke Grimes, Melissa Price, Adam Powell
A group of high-schoolers invite Mandy Lane, an innocent, desirable girl, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop mysteriously. The film has a sensational ending.
The film is way too short, but there is a logical reason for that. Too much more would have made it feel long. Plus it was running out of victims and things to do between the killings after all. It is not a supernatural tale and there aren't too many victims to go around on an endless blood lust.
As much as I like the film due to it's limited budget and claustrophobic feel and relatively small production.
Everyone being attracted to Mandy Lane is a little believable especially when Dealing with teenage hormones, but when the girls also begin getting attracted to her it feels a bit forced. Their attraction and her being so innocent and not realizing the peer she has over them. Feels a bit far fetched but realistic enough. As does the rest of the film. As the murders, the motivations. It becomes less of a mystery. As to who is doing it. Then When, who will be the next victim and how the killer will strike is more of the mystery in this film.
From it’s visual arresting beginning set to the song "IN ANTICIPATION OF YOUR SUICIDE" by Bedroom Walls, I was hooked, I knew the film would be something special. A little different. --The direction is tight, but I feel the material is not sensational until the end and at that point the film makes you rethink everything. You have just seen and analyze it.
The ending finding out Mandy was part of the killings the whole time. Making her a kind of inside man, setting all the victims up. So her friend Emmett could get access and know each person's location and her bobble cords of him. During what is supposed to be their murder suicide. So she can be the survivor and get more attention on a grander scale. Truly makes this film a portrait go a sociopath in a certain situation in which she is always the victim of most people's fantasies of her. So she becomes everything to all people and realizes she is not what they think. She is a lot worse and wants to take control of her identity in a way, she lets them believe what they want. While secretly hating it and wanting to get revenge on them for it, but realizes that she gets what she wants because of it. So she deduced her best friend to do her bidding. So she can get away with everything. He is just as bad as the rest to her and the only person she finds a connection with is the one guy not going gaga over her and actually is moral and just.
The most chilling part of the film is not that she just got away with it, but what will happen to future people who cross her path and dare to try and be close to her. It's a sort of psychological story that makes you think through constant list of an innocent. This is what you create in that person. Thinking about the film probably makes the film smarter and more interesting then it actually is, but for the most part it is a solid film that tired to buck certain Conventions. While following them at the same time.
The casting is good though only Amber head as Mandy Lane seems to be the only one who really benefited from the film and the role. She does look like a fantasy come to life. It is one hell of a role though. An impressive skeleton in the closet. As for awhile after this film she was the next big thing. It seems a bit more based on her looks as she barely has any liens through the film. Even though she is the lead. She is In Almost every scene. Sort of like Brandon Routh in SUPERMAN LIVES. Sometimes i wondered if her character was borderline autistic.
Emmy Rossum was offered the role of Mandy Lane, but turned it down, stating that she did not want to be in a slasher movie.
The deaths throughout the film are not that spectacular.
What takes the film down is that it believes it is smarter than the audience. So much so that it feels a bit glib. Especially when all of it's power is in the ending.
The film can be dull, while you are waiting for something, anything to happen. It tried to be atmospheric, but it doesn't work. It's an average film that has been hyped to be better than it actually is. Only because at the time the limited access to it. So this is a film that runs more on reputation than anything else