The Loved Ones Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other than that, good pacing and resolution but left me wanting for something more.