The Loved Ones

Viewed – 29 March 2011  Blu-ray

Would I call this a horror movie?  Well for starters, this unconventional love story, albeit one involving unrequited love, has a grungy self-destructive teenage guy who has been wracked with guilt for months after the death of his father.  On the eve of Prom Night (or something similar, it’s never really explained) the loner nerdy girl in school asks him to the dance, but as said grungy guy already has a girlfriend, he turns her down.  Big mistake, because loner nerdy girl is actually an unhinged psychopath whose a little too close to her homicidal father and dreams of being prom queen some day.  Just a matter of finding the right guy…

This crazy but well made tongue-in-cheek tale has a star-making central performance from Robin McLeavy as the quite insane Lola, who easily steals the show from her otherwise bland co-stars.  Xavier Samuel, who may as well be Johnny Depp from 21 Jump Street, lacks any sort of personality and it’s hard to care for him beyond wincing at the horrendous torture Lola and her father put him through.  Better is Victoria Thaine as his girlfriend who turns out to have more than a few brass balls, as well as his best friend, Richard Wilson who throughout the movie is trying to ‘score’ with the local goth girl.  Director Sean Byrne obviously had a whale of a time making this, his feature debut and it shows with stylish camera work, plenty of gore with turn away from the screen moments (a drill and a head anyone?) and a soundtrack mixing bluesy ballads with heavy rock that works a treat.

So yes, it is a horror, but certainly different from what you may be used to.  It’s not scary, and lends itself more to the torture porn of Saw and Hostel, but with a refreshing sense of humour that makes it a great deal of fun.

Verdict:  4 /5