3 Jul 2013

'The Loved Ones' Review

Director: Sean Bryne
Writers: Sean Bryne
Stars: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, Victoria Thaine

6 Months after the tragic death of his father, Brent, the now school druggie rejects school reject Lola's invitation to join her to the prom. Her father soon kidnaps the boy for Lola, who then carries out violent  psychotic acts of rage that consist of torturing Brent and making him hers for the night.

2012's answer to Wolf Creek with humor, The Loved Ones is a horror fan's sort of film, with it's fluent violence and dark humor its hard not to love a film that doesn't skimp on the gore, story or characters, and what a film it is.

The Good: The Loved Ones is a genre film for genre fans only, and although just the casual film go-er could go see this and love it, only the horror fans will appreciate what it delivers, and boy, it delivers a lot. With a plot that takes turns for the best (and worse for poor Brent) and violence that gets more gut-wrenching and slick as the film progresses, and with violence that digs deep to your nerves, it's hard to pull away from something that has you engaged to the core.

Character wise, the film is stuffed from the extremely boring, to the extremely sadistic, and for the obvious reasons, there is nothing more fascinating than the loopy Lola who cunningly slings her way through the film, delivering nothing but the finest in torture to poor old Brent, who judging by the treatment he is delivered, is a bigger fighter than Chuck Norris. The acting is decent for horror movie standards, Robin McLeavy who played Lola played a fantastic psychopath who could easily stand next to such classic killers as Patrick Bateman and Mick Taylor. The character's raw emotion was appealing, in the sense that she appears almost devil like, and although the father appears to be the true villain in the first act, she comes alive and she is then the one who calls the shots, truly fascinating.

The gore and violence is just, wow. I mean the acts that are carried out on Brent are enough to send shivers down your spine and to make you cringe to your very bone. Without spoiling much, but the scene were the father hammers knives through his feet to the floors is edgy, gross and near unwatchable, which is good for a film that relays a little too much on the violence, which luckily land successfully. The story takes its many turns which works for the best for the film, and although there is a few bizarre plot twists that may not have worked in the case of other horrors, these work only for the best and enhance the dark twisted humor that accompanies the mindless, yet extravagant violence.

The Bad: The first act runs smoothly, displaying Brents life, but when moving to the second, it feels as if  Sean Byrne rushes the mindless gore for the sake of not wanting to keep the audience waiting, and although the gore has quite a fun tone, it all happens a little too quickly, not giving the effect the last its full course. Other than that, and a few directorial mishaps here and there, it's a pretty special film.

VERDICT: The Loved Ones is enthusiastic, cooky and sadistic, not falling short on gore, and not on dark humor, it matches both perfectly and creates a nerve-damaging torture flick that, accompanied by strong characters and a twisted plot, is sure to be a modern classic. This is a must watch and should not be missed under any circumstances.

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