I have anticipated watching this film for a really long time, but trying to get David to watch it has been quite the task. Trying to describe it to him has only furthered his reluctance to sit down with me and actually watch it. When you hear “this is a movie about prom night gone awry” you don’t immediately think “fantastic horror,” those two phrases don’t normally go hand-in-hand. I went into watching The Loved Ones with high expectations. Rotten Tomatoes has given it a certified fresh rating of 98% with an audience score of 74% – those are steep numbers to live up to. I’d have to say, though, it definitely succeeded! I am genuinely and thoroughly impressed!
To be fair, it’s riding a very, verrryyy thin line between gory shock killings and torture porn… I mean very thin. Think more hardcore than Saw but less hardcore than Tokyo Gore Police. …maybe that’s a little broad. Either way, it is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish, there’s a looot of blood spewed and shed. And it’s not without it’s minor issues – the pacing is all over the place and there is some ultra-cheesy dialogue – but the acting is surprisingly wonderful, the main character (Lola) played by Robin McLeavy is surprisingly terrifying in her insanity, and it’s relentlessly brutal.
It is Sean Byrne’s directorial debut and that shocked me when I learned it because it’s very well done technically and it’s well-written and it’s unsettling. I was invested in the “victim” and I was rooting for a safe outcome, which usually I’m pretty against because happy endings are boring and overdone!
All-in-all, this is one that I want to add to my collection pretty much immediately and will probably go on the October movie marathon roster next year.