The Loved Ones Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 14, 2014
Prom night can be torture, and The Loved Ones takes that literally as Lola Stone captures Brent Mitchell and gives him a prom night he will remember, filled with hammering knives through his feet, lobotomy, cutting, and more. An incredibly intense and cringing addition to extreme horror that manages to explore many themes of teen isolation amidst all the violence.
Super Reviewer
January 18, 2013
It's just really messed up, with no great pay-off.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2012
Ever wonder what it would be like if a John Hughes movie turned into a horror flick? Well,here it is! "The Loved Ones" is about a loner girl named Lola(Robin McLeavy) who asks Brent(Xavier Samuel) to prom,and he nicely declines. What he doesn't know,is Lola is a psychopath and has an even crazier dad. They kidnap Brent,and proceed to torture him. Reminded me a lot of the origional "texas chainsaw massacre" when they're all around the table. One screwed up family,that's for sure. I love torture horror movies,especially ones that don't go so overboard it's unreal. This comes close to going overboard,and in some ways does, but it's very much grounded in reality. You'll never look at a power drill the same way again. I've only seen one other Australian horror movie that I can recall, "wolf Creek". "Creek" was slow,then smacked you in the face with some pretty crazy horror. This wastes little time before thrusting you in, and runs at a brisk 85 minutes. This is better than just about all the american horror movies over the last 5 years probably. Fan of horror, then you have to check this out. If you have a quesy stomach, then watch a PG movie with your loved ones.
Super Reviewer
½ May 6, 2011
In this creepy and simple horror thriller, a young man says no to a girl and starts to regret it. This is one of those torture porn movies, but with more attention paid to the overwhelming dread, than to the acts themselves. Imagine an extension of the dinner scene in Texas Chainsaw Massacre and you'll be on the right track. The film plays with the conventions of power, as a young man is held hostage by a girl, who also has control over her father. This unsettling series of twists makes it even creepier. It is all played with some dark Australian humour, which borders on the brink of sick chuckles and uncomfortable shifting for the viewer. Many of the characters are overcoming a loss of some kind, which runs parallel to the controlling ways of McLeavy. She is unable to let things go, or not get her way, twisting her mind into something chaotic. One for the horror fans.
Super Reviewer
½ October 13, 2010
Pretty damn gory for an Australian film. I wasn't expecting it to be so "torture pornish" - I don't know why. I guess it's being pitched as horror crossed with Pretty in Pink made me expect a slightly unbalanced unrequited love story gone wrong. It definitely wasn't that. Yes, our villain wears a pink prom dress and is close to her father (a little too close in this case!), but that's where the similarity ends! This is one twisted, cringeable, horrible girl!
It is actually pretty decent for it's genre. All the actors are pretty good, though I had not heard of any of them. Xavier Samuel makes Brent sympathetic even though he is clearly not at his best here after the death of his father in a car accident, which he blames himself for. Victoria Thaine is likeable as Holly and Robin McLeavy and Richard Wilson as the father and daughter from hell - I am speechless! (As is Brent himself). What a horrible pair and the things they did to this poor guy were horrible. Ditto "bright eyes". The power drill was especially hard to watch. I had to turn away from this one many, many times.
Well, I don't think I will be watching it again any time soon, but yeah, a pretty good movie, though really horrible.
Super Reviewer
½ April 20, 2011
*sigh* There are all kinds of things wrong with this movie. I didn't find it enjoyable at all. I guess I like my torture porn a little less painful than this. It's like Sean Byrne took the trope "Break The Cutie" and made a film out of it. I was shown this film by someone who doesn't watch enough horror movies, and therefore can't tell the good ones from the bad ones. If however, you've already seen Captivity and Otis, you will find The Loved Ones profoundly disappointing. It lacks the feverish focus of Captivity and won't deliver the pain, bloodshed and brutality at a satisfying pace. It lacks the humour and humanity that gave Otis its charm and lift. This movie cuts back and forth between its sadistic butchery and inconsequential characters in such a way that when it completely fails to culminate in a satusfying conclusion, you're even more pissed off since the structure promised it would. This movie throws away its exposition and doesn't flesh out the backstory you notice and care about. This movie gets points for granting the main victim a formidable measure of mental prowess, but not many. The technical ineptitude and general mean spirit of the monsters in this movie bothered me a lot, and there was a real lack of finesse to thier methods. I almost regret watching this.
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2010
I believe The Loved Ones pitched as Pretty in Pink meets Wolf Creek is correct!
The unsettling horror/black comedy takes the American Prom Horror Film and turns it on its head. Laconic, very Australian humour, combined with twists on the usual "gorno" story, elevates it above standard torture porn.
Tasmanian-born, first-time feature director Sean Byrne mashes a polyglot of styles and influences and comes up with something entirely new in the genre - a candy-coated nightmare.
The juxtaposition of small-town Australian life with soulless horror is hilarious and horrifying, the performances of John Brumpton and Robin McLeavy magnetic.
Super Reviewer
November 11, 2010
'The Loved Ones'. I think AICN said it best; a truly demented masterpiece! Gory as hell with ample servings of dark humour
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2010
"The trick is not to go too far. Just enough to break through the skull."

When Brent turns down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.

I thought it lacked direction at first but they were simply starting things with a simmer and very slowly bringing them to a boil and I mean slowly. This is a very good off the grid feel film with great production quality. Initially once it takes off I feared it was going to turn into a turd dive bombing straight into the toilet, it did the exact opposite.

It's gory, morbid and capitalizes on a few true events as well as containing elements from a few other horror movies which I'm sure inspired these aspects. You can see a few scenarios coming well in advance and make a lot of connections but they were still creative and worth implementing. Last House on the Left, The People Under the Stairs, Jeffrey Dahmer, Storm Warning etc. It's kindred to these films without actually ripping them off.

Lots of suspense and complete satisfaction by the time it's over. This film definitely has high re-watch value and I'm sure will become a cult classic that in 10 years is still sought after at video stores, movie sites and where ever else you'll be getting your movies by then.
Super Reviewer
½ April 10, 2013
The horror genre is the most difficult to enjoy since it relies mostly on surprises. When nearly every scenario, killer, and plot tropes have been done to death it becomes increasingly difficult with the advancement in technology for writers not to make their characters dumb for the sake of the plot. It becomes rare to find even one sensible person in a horror picture and even more of a rarity when something like "The Loved Ones" feeling fresh despite an overuse concept in the horror genre.

The Loved Ones is about Brent turning down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge. Imagine a cross between "Misery" and "Carrie". It's small scale and mostly confined like "Misery" with a creeping psychotic teenage girl like "Carrie" who enjoys her twisted acts of violence. There's no unnecessary exposition and no twist of any kind that ruins the picture. It even plays on your knowledge of the horror genre to surprised with some grisly dark humor and grotesque sequences that knows what kind of shock values it wants to give the audience. It's straightforward approach get things moving at a nice pace not feeling content to drag out events longer than required. It is however not perfect with a pointless recurring subplot disrupting from main plot. This one subplot adds a layer of humor without being a major distraction but has no significance on how events play out. It themes on grief and love are woven to the characters to not entirely make the psychopath senseless killers. It's help with the fact the tight writing giving us the always welcome villains we love to hate. The Loved Ones familiar premise feels like a new concept playing on your knowledge of the genre with unconventional writing and fine balanced of twisted humor and grotesque violence.

Casting is yet another important fundamental in a horror film. When done correctly you can get a memorable performance and character that can imprint the film on your mind. Robin McLeavy won't immediately become iconic for her portrayal of Lola but will be recognized by a large cult following. Transcending what would otherwise be a one-note character with her understanding of the role. She's comes of as sweet, innocence, bad-tempered, and wholly psychotic. A very menacing figure despite what her appearances make her out to be. Without a doubt she's the main attraction of this whole film. Our lead Xavier Samuel is not as good as McLeavy, but is made worth rooting since the film doesn't racked up a huge body count going from one kill to another. Samuel has to sell us on his pain without much spoken dialogue relying mostly on body language and facial expression to get that across. The direction serves a nice contrast to events. Cinematography is colorful, but drenched in mood. The soundtrack is well selected fitting any dreary scene. The practical gore effects are not huge in numbers but the few scenes with these effects will get some reaction from you.

The Loved Ones is a great straightforward horror film with a script that plays around your expectations and a memorable portrayal from McLeary as the psychotic Lola. What it lacks in large body count is made more than compensated with quality.
Super Reviewer
½ January 3, 2013
I'm not sure what movie all the critics watched, because the one I watched couldn't have been further from the one described in the enthusiastic reviews. Contrary to said reviews, this is not a great movie, it's just mediocre torture porn. The movie is relatively plotless aside from the first thirty minutes. After those thirty minutes, it just goes back and forth between torture scenes and two minor characters at the prom, the latter of which, strangely enough, is completely unrelated to the rest of the movie. It sort of just exists without having any real purpose. To be fair, I did come into this expecting a splatter film, which is what it is more or less, but it's relatively unimpressive in that department too. It's violent but rarely exciting and, given that most of the movie revolves around the violence, that's a fatal flaw. On a more positive note, the performances are generally pretty good and the character of Lola is very creepy. Unfortunately that's not enough to save this film from its uneventful last hour, and it simply ends up being a weaker entry in the genre of splatter films.
Super Reviewer
½ May 7, 2011
A reminder of how twisted the human mind can be.
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2012
Taking the torture-and-gore genre to new levels, "The Loved Ones" is almost a social commentary on the secluded nature of our lives, where high school boys can go missing and no one can find them. I often felt a tinge of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", especially involving the strange dinner scenes and the use of the power tools. The cast is brilliantly put together, attractive yet gruesome, the soundtrack makes the film stand out, delivering heavy metal to beef up several moments of the film while pertaining to the plot, and overall, the film comes off fresh and unique despite landing in a genre that gets its kicks off of the fragile human state.
August Seria
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2011
Twisted, and well acted. This is not your ordinary torture porn.
Super Reviewer
½ January 15, 2011
Solid, funny, gross and gory Australian horror that has an insane amount of energy and some very good performances that mostly keeps it on the rails. The B plot is just as (perhaps more) interesting as the main stuff with poor Brent (Xavier Samuel) being tortured by a deranged 'family'. The basement revelation is so stupid and the black humour and slapstick violence prevents The Loved Ones from ever being truly frightening or disturbing, and I find it odd that the film has been *so* critically acclaimed since it's not anything out of the ordinary. But it is well made, and I really loved the ending.
Super Reviewer
½ September 16, 2012
This is strictly for horror movie fans. The girl was fantastic.
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2012
Been hearing great things about this one for a while, so I decided to have it a go last night. I was very disappointed, but don't get me wrong, it's still a pretty enjoyable nail-biting experience but doesn't really offer anything new or original to the genre, but everything it does, it does so with extreme confidence, which backfires at times too. There's great acting all around but also some pretty horrible one too (the daddy got on my nerves a lot), some story elements are... just there... for no reason other than to creat a paralel of "loved ones" like with what's going on with the massacre with very little affecting results (both emotionally and to the storyline). These stories don't even cross! Ok, I got it, "love" was found in different ways throughout the events, cool story bro, but that doesn't work on this movie at all!

Other than that, good pacing and resolution but left me wanting for something more.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2012
The first part of the film is like another Australian soap opera, with dreadful music and quite a few bad actors. Then after that it's a combination of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Misery still with dreadful music. Although it's not completely original (too many horror film influences) and the script is terrible, but the acting from Robin Leavy was fantastic. I truly did not enjoy this film, not because the film is too disturbing, It's because the bad score, ugly looking actors, the plot holes and the random subplot that has no impact on the entire story except explaining the factor in which Brent's father died. Overall, the film tried too hard to please it's audience but failed to completely satisfy the needs.
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2011
The Loved Ones is a thrilling experience that will have you on the edge of your seat constantly guessing what is going to happen next, it is a blood wrenching, nerve wrecking experience that you will never forget.
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