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Loved Ones, The (2009)

Year of Release: 2010
Theatrical Release Date:
N/A

Director: Sean Byrne
Writing Credits:
Sean Byrne
Rating:
18 (UK)
Run Time:
84 mins
Studio: Ambience Entertainment

Cast: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton, Victoria Thaine

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Summary: Brent (Xavier Samuel) is driving home late one night with his father when he swerves after seeing something in the road. The car spins out of control, and moments later Brent's dad is dead. Brent is wracked with guilt over the incident, and sinks into a deep depression, only beginning to sort out his feelings when he begins dating one of his classmates, a pretty and nurturing girl named Holly (Victoria Thaine). However, another young woman at school, Lola (Robin McLeavy), has taken an interest in Brent, going so far as to ask him to escort her to an upcoming dance. Loyal Brent turns Lola down, but he learns the hard way she doesn't handle disappointment well. Lola and her wealthy father (John Brumpton) force Brent to attend a private party at a cottage in the woods, where he's the only guest and Lola and her dad mete out brutal punishment for daring to hurt her feelings.

Reviewer Film Ratings:
Plot: 3 | Fun Factor: 4 | Gore: 4 | Nudity: 2 | Scare Factor: 2.5 | Overall: 4/5

Best Horror Movie of the Year
Reviewed by

Nothing about the premise of Sean Byrneís The Loved Ones would suggest that I would in any way screen the film let alone enjoy it so engrossingly. Robin McLeavy plays Lola, an awkward teenager, who is turned down by fellow classmate Brent (Xavier Samuel) when she proposes that they go to prom together. Seemingly unwilling to accept his rejection, Brent is captured by Lola and her father and is subjected to an evening of torture that includes needles, knives, rocks, salt and my personal favorite, a power drill.

As the sadistic night progresses, Brent is continually tortured whilst his school prom proceeds without much notice of his absence. Lola proves to be brutally vicious to her unwilling date and a story unfolds suggesting that Brent is not her first victim.

Lolaís father (John Brumpton) is equally devilish assisting in Lolaís commands and it is only horror genre film familiarity that would suggest that Brent has a chance to get out of the evening alive.

The Loved Ones was originally premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009 but the film didnít hit the U.S. until June of 2012. Normally, this would indicate or suggest issues with the film, but that is hardly the case here. Writer/director Sean Byrne (who unfortunately isnít working on any new projects as per imdb.com) does a fantastic job of making a horror film that falls under the category of Ďtorture porní bearable. At least in The Loved Ones, there is a purpose or reason behind the unfathomable violence towards a captor unlike films such as Grotesque or Captivity.

Fans of violence just for the sake of violence will have their fill with The Loved Ones. There is no shortage of WTF moments and we were surprisingly involved with the two lead characters.

We even didnít mind the small Martyrs type twist about two-thirds of the film through when Brent finds himself in a room under Lolaís living room floor.

The Loved Ones might not find itself in the same breath as other held captive movies such as Stephen Kingís Misery, but it is definitely one of those films that if you stumble across it, you will likely not be disappointed.

Not only were we not disappointed, but we put it up there with Cabin in the Woods as one of our favorite horror films of 2012.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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