Newest Reviews
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Night Drive
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
Lina from Lima
Newest Articles
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
  Loved Ones, The One Bad Date
Year: 2009
Director: Sean Byrne
Stars: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton, Richard Wilson, Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee, Andrew S. Gilbert, Suzi Dougherty, Victoria Eagger, Anne Scott-Pendlebury, Fred Whitlock, Leo Taylor, Brandon Burns
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Six months ago Brent (Xavier Samuel) was driving his dad's car along this highway, with his father in the passenger seat as they discussed music and life in general, when suddenly a figure was in the road in front of them, and he had to swerve to avoid him. The resulting accident was never fully explained, nor why the figure was stripped to the waist to reveal a bloody torso, and now Brent is still having trouble coping without his parent, with his subdued mother little help. The high school dance is coming up, and he plans to go with his girlfriend Hollie (Victoria Thaine), so when he is invited by the quiet Lola (Robin McLeavy) he turns her down...

Which is either very sensible, or a massive mistake, as no matter which the story ends up badly for everyone. Inspired by the same wave of extreme horror from Australia as the likes of Wolf Creek and Storm Warning, The Loved Ones looked to have been the natural (or unnatural) progression from Take That's video for their cover of The Bee Gees' How Deep is Your Love?, only with far more blood spattered around. Lola, you see, is no ordinary girl, as she doesn't go about getting her boyfriends the normal way, she prefers to enlist the help of her doting dad (John Brumpton), who kidnaps the objects of her desire.

They are then brought back to their isolated farmhouse where Lola, or Princess as he calls her, stages her own personal high school prom, a little party where Brent finds himself tied up and suffering the effects of the dire duo's machinations. This includes having his throat injected with disinfectant to stop him making any noise, so you can imagine that he is not in a healthy place as the dinner turns even nastier. In truth, director Sean Byrne, whose debut feature this was after a number of shorts, has trouble finding anywhere to go once he has his premise set up, or at least nowhere to go that no other filmmaker has gone before.

Which means essentially a lengthy recreation of the scene in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre where the family get together with their victim - but not quite lengthy enough, as Byrne has to pad out his already brief running time with a subplot concerning a miserable Goth (Jessica McNamee) getting taken to the dance by a hopeful but somewhat hopeless friend (Richard Wilson) of Brent's. The connection is that Goth Mia is miserable because her brother was one of those boys taken by Lola and her father, but you could be forgiven for wondering why bother with her for such a large amount of time? Yes, her father is a policeman investigating the disappearances, but the whole thing smacks of one rewrite too few.

Nevertheless, as The Loved Ones does not hang about too much it is a brisk experience, and once it reaches its setpieces, pretty lusty with it. Predictably, it is at its strongest when placing its characters in peril, and McLeavy represents a well-crafted movie psycho as far as her performance goes, even if the psychology behind Lola would not stand up to much scrutiny. Maybe not such a problem if this were trying for the rollercoaster ride approach to horror, but not quite as effective when the impression is more that Byrne wanted the audience to take his views on teen peer pressure seriously rather than see them as the over the top stylings they really were. This film undoubtedly gained more interest thanks to Samuel's presence, as he went onto fame in Twilight sequel Eclipse, but even if he was simply in the (silently) screaming victim role here, he brooded enough to satisfy his fans.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1948 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: