Dir. Sean Byrne
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“You've got 10 seconds to go or Daddy's gonna nail it to the chair…”
The Loved Ones is a delirious Aussie mash-up of various horror films that include Stephen King’s Carrie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Prom Night – with maybe a dash of Mad Max thrown in by director Sean Byrne too.
I’ll state straight away that I’m not the biggest fan of ‘torture films’ but The Loved Ones brings a new dimension to dealing with rejection, being psychotically insane and the longing for true love that all small town teenagers probably feel at some time!? It’s a funny, nasty and eye-poppingly disturbed fairy tale that sees young hunky Brent Mitchell (Xavier ‘Road Kill’ Samuel) spurn the advances of the slightly odd Lola (Robin McLeavy).
The Loved Ones takes the high school prom to a new dark dimension that delivers a horror movie experience in the vein of ‘Drag me to Hell’ – just with less demons and more psycho nut job wannabe girlfriend – backed up with a power-tool packing father.
"she'll take your heart... literally!?"Its tense stuff as the ‘who will survive and what will be left of them’ mantra kicks in hard. If you’re at all squeamish then you’ll want to give The Loved Ones a miss as it features drills to the head, injections to the neck, hammer blows and nails to the feet… And that’s just the dinner scene…
It works better than many of its schlocky horror kin due to having a delicious dark sense of humour and a great cast.
The Loved Ones is a roller-coaster screwball horror fest that will leave you breathless and quite possibly disturbed. Just be careful the next time somebody asks you out – saying ‘no’ could be murder…
"This secret blue love potion / cleaning product - just the job!"
Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 seriously 'wrong' dates out of 10)