If it's crap ... We'll tell you
"Am I not pretty enough, is my heart too broken" - words that you will come to associate with a psychopathic teen girl. The Love Ones flew under the radar. Released in 2009 to some film festivals, then released in Australia in 2010, the film finally found its way to the United States to a limited release in June 2012 and then released on DVD in September 2012. Three years after its original release and nearly 4 since the film was filmed. Which is a shame because as far as horror movies go The Loved Ones steps up as being one of the better horror films in the past decade. While I wouldn't call it scary or overly gory, it is cringe worthy at times and is really the plot that provides the tension along with brilliant performances by all the actors.
The basic premise is that a high school dance is coming up and Lola (Robin McLeavy) works up the nerve to ask Brent (Xavier Samuel). He turns her down because he is already in a relationship with Holly (Victoria Thaine). Which was a mistake on his part because Lola is insane. Next thing you know Lola's father kidnaps Brent and they have him tied up in their house. They dress him in a tux, and throw their own dance party. Is this the only time that Lola's father set up an insane play date for her? I refuse to give more information because it is one of those movies that when you go in, the less you know, the better.
The Loved Ones does have a dated look as if it was taking place in the 90's, but it isn't (as far as we know). I am going to say right off the bat, almost everything in this movie works. While I wouldn't call it the best horror movie I've seen, it is everything you could possibly ask for from this kind of film. What makes it amazing, is how interesting the story and pacing is, even though the film takes place mostly in one location. The acting is really well done, and even despite what your feelings may be over the characters you still want to know how is this all going to end? What's nice about it, is that it leaves a lot of mysteries for the viewer to solve and have a conversation about regarding Lola and her father. The film also reminds me a little bit of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in terms of a crazy family that sit their victim down at a dinner table. Unlike that movie though, it never really plays like a slasher until probably the last 10 mins. It is on the verge of being torture porn, but it isn't even that for a couple of reasons. For one this actually has more going for it plot wise instead of the torture, and some of the more gruesome aspects actually happen off camera. Even though this film is lower budget and would appeal to the indie/horror crowd, this film would easily do well in mainstream theaters. Unfortunately, the film never received theater release in the United States, but now that it is on DVD I would say check it out.
9/10 - If you are into horror movies or just want to see something different in the horror genre, check this one out. Unlike most horror movies, the plot is what drives this film forward not the kills or the torture, though there is a good bit of that too. This is one that every one should check out at least once since we are near Halloween.