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Why The Loved Ones is a Triumph of Modern Indie Horror Filmmaking

The Loved Ones

This Australian gem centers around a boy named Brent who lost his Father in a car accident. He frequently cuts himself and suffers from severe depression. There’s a void between him and his mother, and the only happiness in his life comes from his girlfriend Holly.

One day, Lola Stone, a shy girl with creepy eyes, asks Brent to the school dance. Brent is already going with his girlfriend Holly, so he politely declines. Unfortunately, doing so proves to be the biggest mistake he has ever made. Lola does not like to take no for an answer. So, whether Brent wants to or not, he will be attending a dance with Lola.

As always, I will stop right there to avoid horrifying spoilers! This film is very intense! I’m honestly surprised at how dark it manages to go while still maintaing a hint of comedy. It was hard to look away from the disturbing things that transpire during this picture. But it’s not just torture for torture’s sake. The violence and the brutality are there, not to glorify violence, but to prove how utterly unhinged Lola and her family are. In terms of brutality, it may be on a par with films like Hostel but this is a character study and a look into the psyche of a deeply deranged, troubled girl and the father who will do anything to see that she is happy.

The Loved Ones

The Loved Ones is just one more example of exactly why horror fans need to stay on top of the indie film scene. No mainstream film would dare to go to the horrifying lengths that this picture does. It is a celebration of the kind of artistic freedom you cannot get away with in a film that is meant for mass consumption. It pushes every boundary imaginable and doesn’t stop until its audience is sufficiently shaken.

The performances in this flick are exceptional. Features that are primarily confined to a small setting and feature a small cast like this live or die based on wether or not the performers are fully committed. I think it’s safe to say that everyone involved with The Loved Ones committed one hundred percent. Each actor performed incredibly well and each character had a purpose. Lola was an absolute and total menace. And Robyn McLeavy brought her to life in a manner so convincing that I thought about it for days.

The Loved Ones isn’t a perfect film. There are minor problems with some of the logic the characters employ and other little  missteps but because this film was so intelligently made and features such strong performances, those flaws are hardly noticable.

I would be lying if I said that The Loves Ones is not a disturbing film. You’ll definitely feel your skin crawling while watching it, but don’t let that deter you. The carnage serves a definite purpose and it is there to advance the storyline and offer insight into Lola’s extreme psychosis, not to glorify or celebrate senseless acts of  violence.

The Loved Ones LolaThe moral of the film, in a sentence: Never, ever decline someone’s invitation to a dance. You can check out The Loved Ones now on DVD and I would highly recommend that you do so as soon as possible!

Director:  Sean Byrne
Writer(s): Sean Byrne
Stars: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, Victoria Thaine
Year: 2009
Studio/ Production Co:  Screen Australia
Language: English
Length: 84 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Horror, Thriller

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Written by Zena Dixon
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Zena Dixon has been writing about all things creepy and horrific at Real Queen of Horror for over three years. She has also contributed to iHorror and Bloody Disgusting. She has always loved horror films and someday hopes to be known for writing and directing her own feature-length horror pictures.
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