The Loved Ones
Director: Sean Byrne
Writer: Sean Byrne
Starring: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, Victoria Thaine
How I Watched It: iTunes on Apple TV
Review By: Griff
Ok, I know that today is technically Saturday but it has been a busy week and this is the first chance I have had to sit down and do some writing so just play along with me ok? Since it is October and all, I have decided to stick with horror movies for the Friday pick all month long. My first choice is a relatively new film that built up a bit of an underground following, The Loved Ones.
Xavier Samuels is Brent, a teenager who is still grieving over the loss of his father who died in a auto accident while Brent was behind the wheel. His girlfriend Holly (Victoria Thaine) is trying to help snap him out of his depression (apparently by humping his brains out.) while they get ready to attend the prom.
Lola, played by Robin McLeavy is the typical class outcast. She doesn’t have many friends, doesn’t dress well and seems to scorned by the other kids in her class. Lola has a crush on Brent however, and decides to ask him to the prom. Brent turns her down because he is going to the prom with Holly.
What Brent doesn’t know is that Lola is more than just the class misfit. She has some pretty serious issues going on and so does her doting father “Daddy.” Daddy kidnaps Brent and takes him back to their house where he is tortured and forced to participate in mock prom staged for Lola’s benefit.
Brent soon realizes that they have a fate planned for him that may be even worse than death and he now has to figure out a way out his situation before its too late…
Take a little bit of Carrie, mix it in with a touch of Sixteen Candles, and splash of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and you get and idea of what this movie is all about. There has been a trend with horror films lately brought on by movies like Saw and Hostel to try and not really scare you so much as gross you out. Movies like Martyrs and Inside that attempt to bring the fright by showing people torturing other human beings instead of trying to frighten you with the story itself. Personally, I thought there was a little too much of that with The Loved Ones as well. It started off strong with some decent character development for Brent. We got a feeling for where his character was coming from but we never really got a glimpse inside of Lola’s head. So we are unable to build up any empathy for her character, and as a result, when she starts acting crazy we just see her as psycho. For me the movie is long on gore and short on scares. It is mish mash of other much better films thrown together.
The movie is not without a few high notes though. I thought Robin McLeavy played a great psycho and she was one of the most twisted females characters I have seen since Angela Bettis in May. (If you haven’t seen May I highly recommend checking it out.) Also, the movie does have a few surprises and plot twists and there is an entertaining and genuinely funny side plot with two of the lesser characters played by Jessica McNamee and Richard Wilson that could have been a movie on its own.
Overall I don’t have a lot of love for The Loved Ones. I give it 1 1/2 guy out of 3.