Nothing Says ‘The Loved Ones’ Like Battery Acid and Power Drills

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Who says you can’t have your own Prom at home?

The Loved ones (2009) – Australia

Released on DVD in America in June 2012.

Winner of the Toronto International Film Festival Peoples Choice Award 2009.

Available via Netflix DVD by mail, iTunes.

The Loved Ones is an Independent Horror movie filmed in Australia and directed by new comer Sean Byrne and starring Xavier Samuel (Riley from the Twilight Saga) and Robin McLeavy (Eva from AMC’s Hell on Wheels).

Lola (played by McLeavy) is a lonely high school girl with an awkward disposition and a dark side like that of Jeffery Dahmer. Her crush, Brent (played by Samuel), is a troubled young man who is struggling with life after the accidental death of his father. After Brent turns down her invitation to prom, Lola decides to take matters into her own hands. With help from her father, and a very unwilling Brent, she holds her own prom at home with dancing, punch, power drills and battery acid. Lola couldn’t ask for a better time.

Well, if you’re a true horror fan, you should know that the horror market has been flooded with lame remakes and low budget found footage flicks that do nothing but insult the viewers intelligence. The Loved Ones isn’t any of that. In fact, it’s a refreshing take on a subject that I know a lot of people can relate to; the awkward mess that is high school, and the hardships of being a teen. While torture has become it’s own sub-genre, this movie is fairly unique as it’s a torture horror portraying a teenage girl as the villain, along with a fair amount of plot. Now I’m not saying this movie is the next Citizen Kane, but this is definitely a movie you shouldn’t miss. Since it’s not going to be force fed to you like the next Paranormal Activity movie, you’re going to have to do a little work to find it. That’s why I suggest clicking on the Netflix or iTunes links here.

Australia hasn’t been known for it’s horror for quite some time, and if you’re not a genre geek you might not even know that Australia once had a booming exploitation market in the 70’s and 80’s. Some people may remember Mad Max (1979), Razor Back (1984) , or Patrick (1978). The latter of which is being remade by director Mark Hartley, an award-winning documentarian of the Ozploitation (Australian exploitation) era. Recently we’ve seen a few submissions into the horror genre from the land down under. In 2005 we had the amazing Wolf Creek by director Greg McLean and his follow up Rouge (2007). I must also mention that Wolf Creek 2 is currently in production. With movies like the above mentioned, and especially The Loved Ones, Australia might have another chance at the horror market. If you’d like to learn more about all the great ozploitation films of the 70’s and 80’s you should check out the Documentary Not Quite Hollywood. If you have Netflix add it to your queue by clicking here!

My Rating: 7.5 out of 10



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