The Loved Ones

Critics Consensus

Successfully mixing the conventions of the teen and horror genres with a twist, Australian director Sean Byrne makes a striking directorial debut.



Total Count: 55


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,297
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Movie Info

Lola Stone asked Brent Mitchell to the prom, but Brent said no, and now he's screwed. What happens when Lola doesn't get what she wants? She enlists Daddy's help to throw a prom of her own where she is queen and Brent is king, whether he likes it or not. The Loved Ones is what happens when puppy love goes horribly, violently wrong. Brent should have said yes. -- (C) Paramount

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Critic Reviews for The Loved Ones

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (8)

  • Speaking of reusing old premises, The Loved Ones shows the right way to do it. In this outrageously creepy and entertaining.

    Jan 8, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A juicy piece of Ozploitation, [Sean] Byrne's very stylish film pays its respects to Carrie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the late John Hughes while finding in its primary location...a speical version of Hell on Earth.

    Jan 8, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It's a terrifying masterpiece that turns high school drama into a literal dead zone.

    Jan 8, 2013 | Full Review…

    Eric Kohn

    Top Critic
  • Thanks to McLeavy's incredible performance as the childish, spoiled and evil Lola, no matter how horrible things get, you just cannot take your eyes away from the screen.

    May 9, 2011 | Full Review…
  • A blood-spattered, tongue-in-cheek horror comedy that features plenty of low-rent gore, some extra-cheesy lines and some terrific performances.

    Nov 3, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Byrne announces his emphatic arrival with this movie. Australian horror has another distinctive new voice.

    Oct 28, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Loved Ones

  • Aug 15, 2017
    The Loved Ones...ummm...what the actual flip!? Never ever ever ever say no to prom date. Just don't, that is my advice to you all. If you do say no...well you might get kidnapped, injected with some blue liquid that prevents you from talking, skull getting drilled in, feet getting nailed...and sucking on a crazy girl's finger whilst she continuously asks "is it finger licking good!?". Whaaaaaaaat the actual heck. I have NEVER been so uncomfortable watching a film in my life (and this was my second viewing). I constantly kept saying "sure, it can't get any more weird right?"...well I was wrong, multiple times. This...this girl is absolutely insane. The very definition of a psychopath. I can only assume a lonely childhood with a hint of an incestual relationship with "daddy" is to blame here. Also, I don't think listening to "Am I Not Pretty Enough" is helping her...just saying. Our protagonist played by Xavier Samuel had a rough night. There's no two ways about it, and I thought he actually gave a good performance. The gore is present but it's actually the sounds of screaming and bone crunching that truly terrifies me. My problem with the film, is the tonal inconsistencies. Is it meant to be a horror or a black comedy? I don't know, it's not clear. Whilst Xavier Samuel is having a blast with stalker psychopath, his friend is at prom with your typical "rock chick" who likes smoking pot and banging her head to screamo music. A lot of humorous scenes, but it felt too different with what was happening elsewhere and for me didn't work. In addition, the plot gets slightly stupid as the film goes on. The beginning was great, there's a melancholic atmosphere...but then it goes into the realm of unbelievability. It's a ridiculous little gem of a film, well shot and gory...but my overall feel is slightly mixed. If you like gory films, give it a try!
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Apr 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.
    Edward B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 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.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2013
    I think I watched a different movie because I've read all this praise and I thought it was silly and predictable, Terrible acting and a lackluster ending, This film is one reason I don't listen to critics.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer

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