The Loved Ones Review

The Loved Ones (2009)
Starring: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, Victoria Thaine
Directed by: Sean Byrne

The Premise

Lola only wants one thing -- a date for the prom. And when Brent turns her down, he finds out she doesn't take rejection very well...

The First Stitches

This title was suggested to me by CultHorrMetalSarcasm recently when I wasn't sure what I wanted to watch. Being a title I hadn't seen, I decided to look it up and was pretty much sold after checking out the trailer above.

"A 'hertz donit'? No thanks, I already ate."

Mending the Seams

Plot: The story to The Loved Ones is actually split between two situations -- Brent's (Xavier Samuel) kidnapping and his friend, Jamie taking Mia (Richard Wilson and Jessica McNamee, respectively) to the prom. The film plays it as a sort of "light side/dark side" scenario where one provides comic relief through the depiction of semi-typical prom shenanigans and the other...well, you see that poster up top. I'll let you piece that together.

Characters: There is a decent contrast between the characters in The Loved Ones. Brent is a troubled, self-destructive youth who constantly pushes himself out of guilt. Lola (Robin McLeavy) is a sadistic, vindictive psychopath (seriously, just look up). Jamie is...well, your average high school teenager. Mia, like Brent, is also among the darker, more inner troubled teens, but her outlet seems more sexual than masochistic. I really liked the way these characters were played, my favorites being the former two. And let it be said, Robin McLeavy is freaking gorgeous in this movie, and after what I've seen, it actually feels a little weird to say that.
"The fuck is that supposed to mean??"
Setting/Atmosphere: What truly makes this movie is Lola's creepy dungeon home. Everything about this place is the antithesis of "normal". The spinning disco ball was the icing on the cake.

Special Effects: There were many sides to the special effects that I enjoyed. Both the gore and make-up effects in some of the later scenes (I won't spoil any of that for you) were top notch and deserve mentioning.

Music/Audio: The soundtrack to The Loved Ones did well to compliment the atmosphere of the movie. I can't say there was a specific "wow" factor to it, but it was better musically than I initially would have expected. I really liked the contrasting pop music during some of the Lola scenes. In a way it added to the mentally unstable aspect of the character.

The Binding Stitch

To put it easily, The Loved Ones is a movie I do not regret watching. I was even surprised to find the main character of this movie was also in the Twilight series. And anyone who knows me knows I don't expect much from anyone who was in Twilight. But on that same token, this is an Australian horror film. And so far, I've not been disappointed with Australian horror. That being said, I would have to suggest that any horror fan worth their salt give this movie a try. It's part Hostel, part The People Under The Stairs and part Misery all rolled into one fucked up little ball. What more could you possibly want?

And now, my Fray, I ask would you take Lola to the prom?

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