The Loved Ones
- Director:Sean Byrne
- Cast:John Brumpton, Jessica McNamee, Victoria Thaine, Richard Wilson
- Release Date:November 04, 2010
- Running time:84 minutes
- Film Worth:$13.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Taut and tense, this uniquely premised and skilfully executed horror flick stands as one of our best in recent times.
Simplicity is one of the most underrated qualities in cinema, and its virtues are seldom more apparent than in the horror genre. The best of that ilk are usually films with a singular, bold concept - take for instance The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, whose title works equally as a synopsis. While Hollywood has made a hash of the genre in recent times with overblown style and undernourished characters, here comes a local production that keeps things taut, tense and - as a result - terrific. The Loved Ones might even be poised to catch a fair box office windfall, given the timely elevation of leading man Xavier Samuel, who will bring the aura of the Twilight franchise in the eyes of younger audiences.
Samuel plays Brent Mitchell, a small-town high schooler still reeling from the roadside death of his father, which he caused. He blocks his senses with death metal and dope, but he's still the most eligible big fish in his rural Aussie pond. When the young buck turns down a high school formal invitation from local lass Lola (Robin McLeavy), he finds himself roped, rather literally, into a nightmarish chain of events. The less said about what follows the better, as shock value is one of this flick's many strengths.
Australian filmmakers haven't really tackled this terrain before, perhaps feeling that the notion of the school dance is uniquely, and ubiquitously, American. Debut director Sean Byrne, however, has carved out a flick to stand beside Brian De Palma's high school horror classic Carrie, such is the beauty and brutality of his execution. It's the best entry to the Aussie horror canon since Wolf Creek.