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The Loved Ones (2009)

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

I originally reviewed The Loved Ones about 3 days into my site going live. Now more people read my site, I thought I should re-do this review as I’ve seen it again since and I have improved my rating as I definitely scored this too low last time! So please read on and apologies if you did actually read this the first around! 🙂

The Loved Ones is an Australian horror/thriller starring a guy from Twilight:Eclipse (Xavier Samuel). That’s how I pitched this to my wife to get her to watch it. As true as that statement is, I may have left out that it’s a pretty warped prom movie with some brutal torture scenes thrown in.

The film revolves around a young guy and his struggle to live with the guilt of accidentally killing his father in a car crash. 6 months after the accident he has a loving girlfriend and his life looks like it is on the up again as he prepares to go to the prom. Little does he know a girl he rejected has other ideas and decides she wants her own personal prom and with the help of her father decides to take what she couldn’t have.

It’s a pretty far-fetched idea, and whilst people are hurt and rejected all the time I’m guessing not many go to the extremes Lola goes to in this film. If you can look past the surreal premise though there is a good film to be found. The lead actor who plays ‘Brent’, Xavier Samuel, is brilliant, really watchable and makes the most of the script. Even in trickier times throughout the movie for his character, which without giving too much away, when his character is more limited and confined he still acts the hell out of the role. He deserves better than Twilight!

Lola or ‘Princess’ (Robin Mcleavy) is the villain of the movie and along with her equally warped dad takes prom night to a whole new level. She is great in the role, and was instructed by the director (Sean Byrne) to study real life serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and she plays the psychotic villain brilliantly. Calm and sweet one minute, crazy and calculating the next, it was a nice change to see a young female as the lead villain.

Lola will go to any length to get her perfect prom – we get a glimpse into her past ‘dates gone wrong’ – and we get to see some very simple methods of inflicting pain on poor Brent. Everyday household items such as knives, bleach and a drill are just some of the things the evil Lola introduces Brent too. Throw in some escape attempts and a few curve balls and what we get is a very entertaining and different type of film.

The side story of Brent’s friends seemed pointless really until a couple of shots near the end tied in why the friends were shown, very subtle but worthwhile in my opinion.

I can’t really go into anymore details without spoiling it. Needless to say if your interested in love stories with a difference and don’t mind some violence and blood thrown in you could do a lot worse than watch The Loved Ones. I believe it is now getting a release in the US so hopefully it can pick up more of a following. Not for everyone but if you can ignore the far-fetched notions of Lola then it’s well worth a watch.

7 stars

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16 Comments

  1. Yay! I’m glad you reassessed! I love this movie, and it’s one of the (very) few Aussie movies of the past few years I can proudly say comes from the same land as me!

    Now – out of curiosity, as I notice you haven’t mentioned it – did you find it a funny movie? It’s meant to be equal parts horror movie and black comedy, and I’ve often wondered if the comedic side of things is geared towards a more Antipodean style of humour?

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    • Well, I was never sure if the ‘friend & goth’ was meant to be the comedic release in the film, but as I mentioned I found them (more him) quite annoying, but I can see obviously now after it finished why they were there, if thats cryptic enough!

      I did laugh at some things Lola did, but it was more of a ‘she says something sarcastic, I laugh, then she whips a torture implement out’ kind of guilty laugh 🙂 So no, didn’t really see much comedy as such, I was too engrossed in what was happening so maybe some of the humour passed me by?

      Nice to hear you love the film too, really is a good time and I hope more people get to see this.

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  2. theipc

     /  September 21, 2012

    I loved this! Totally! All the way! I think another thing that really did it for me is that I used to date a girl who look(ed) pretty much exactly like Lola…. shudder….

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  3. Very excited to see this and if I ever have time to watch movies again, this is at the top of my list. Who did that guy even play in Twilight? I totally don’t recognize him!

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  4. Good review Tyson. This film definitely takes total use of it’s premise, and just milks it for everything that it’s worth. One of the better horror films of the year, and wasn’t it from 2009? Anywho, great flick.

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    • Thanks buddy! Yeah 2009 it came out in Australia, we got it here in the UK not long after that, but it only hit the US this year. Worth the wait though, such a great film!

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  5. Great review. This movie sounds interesting. Posters are awful, though.

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  6. Ha! My BF worked on this movie and we went along to the premier at MIFF. The director gave a very sweet speech, thanking his wife for supporting him through,’ not just this year, but many, many filmless years’. It really stuck with me, how hard it is to even get a relatively low budget film funded and released. And how, even when you are at the peak, at your film premier, you still don’t know if you are gonna be able to make another one.

    I’m a bit racist against Australian film most of the time but I really enjoyed this one. Parts were REALLY creepy. And I love the whole kitschy prom night aesthetic. I don’t think it did so well in cinema release though, oh well.

    As for the poster, when it first came out there was a really 60s looking painted one that I loved.

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    • That’s a great story! 🙂 You should get your BF to come over and tell us how it was! I bet it was a great production to be a part of. It’s a shame, there are probably so many great films that get made but never see the light of day.

      Review wise I always see The Loved Ones score really high. Yet sadly that doesn’t always convert into box office takings. Thanks for your comment 🙂

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