2009 / Director. Sean Byrne.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
In her review of THE LOVED ONES, Margaret Pomeranz feared that Australian audiences were embracing hardcore horror films with "gusto". I don't know what she was smoking that night but to say that she was overreacting is an understatement. Of course we lap this stuff up... but that's nothing new. We've been consuming gnarly horrorher movies for decades and films like THE LOVED ONES casts my mind back to classics like DEAD KIDS, TURKEY SHOOT and BODY MELT. Hell, Mark Hartley even made an entire feature-length documentary about our love of genre films. THE LOVED ONES joins a line up of modern horror movies such as STORM WARNING, WOLF CREEK and DYING BREED and is contributing to a glorious new era of nasties. The film itself borrows heavily from one of the oldest sub-genres of them all - the torture revenge movie! A high school guy is kidnapped and held captive by a girl he rejected at school. With her devoted father lending a hand this psycho teen-bitch subjects her "sweetheart" to a gruelling night of unspeakable torture. Her frenzy is hardcore stuff and will test a lot of people's tolerances. I personally lapped it all up (of course). It's filmed so well and doesn't muck around. Beautifully shot and immaculately written, THE LOVED ONES should serve as an example to all budding filmmakers of how to do it right... ie keep it short, stick to your vision and don't get weighed down with subplots and dialogue. The performances are all top-notch with Robin McLeavy and John Brumpton stealing the show as the incestuous father & daughter psychos. Brumpton had previously played a similar role in STORM WARNING and he's obviously found his calling for demented and schitzo characters. The soundtrack is also awesome. This is a film that was deserved of it's accolades. It's terrifying and hilarious in equal measure and it is already regarded as a classic amongst horror fans the world over. As one of the quotes on the poster suggests, this is what would have happened if John Hughes had directed a torture porn. Imagine if Molly Ringwald had flipped her lid... teen movies don't get much better than this.