The Loved Ones
I've been waiting for quite some time to get my hands on this Aussie import and let's just say I was not let down at all, it's just too bad it hasn't been properly released in the states yet.
Oh yeah, and did I mention Robin McLeavy, the girl who plays Lola "Princess" is pretty hot for a crazy chick?
I can honestly say this was a refreshing horror comedy wholeheartedly. More so the horror aspect than the comedy, but there were laughs to be had sprinkled throughout the flick. What I loved the most though, and what was most noteworthy was all of it's practical gore effects. It was graphic, but not overly graphic. It showed just enough to make you cringe, but didn't take it so over the top you had to look away like in other films ( Martyrs, Inside and Hostel to name a few). No CGI here people.
The plot's pretty simplistic and straight forward. In some cases a too simple of a plot takes away from the film, but in this instance I think it worked in it's favor. To sum it up, girl likes boy and asks him to prom, boy turns down girl, girl gets angry and kidnaps and tortures boy while forcing him to go to a fake prom in her kitchen. Sounds awesome right? Well it is!
The movie opens with a then cheery and wide eyed Brent driving with his father down an average stretch of road on an average day. Suddenly a battered and bloody teen wanders in front of their car with a huge heart carved into his chest. Brent swerves to the side to avoid him, but in the process crashes the car and kills his father who was in the passenger seat. Not so average anymore, huh?
Cut sometime down the road to the now senior Brent who has quite recently become a loner / pothead thanks to his fathers death. Despite all that he's a nice kid with his act basically together with a girlfriend (Holly) along with a best friend (Jamie). Sad to say him being so polite will be soon his downfall. In walks a shy Lola, approaching Brent at his locker after school to ask him to prom. Unfortunately for her, and Brent, he turns her down. Heartbroken, Lola runs to her father, who proceeds to kidnap Brent while hes out on a hike by himself and takes him to their residence. This is where the insanity and real gore ensues.
From here on out, the rest of the movie is basically in Lola's kitchen (aside from brief glimpses of his best friend Jamie out on his date to show what the real prom is like), where Brent is forced to go to a pretend prom with her by her father. Here, he is tortured numerous ways including: having a knife hammered into his foot, having a hole drilled into his forehead and then getting hot water poured into it and having a heart carved into his chest with Lola's initials inside it using a fork ( much like the teen from the beginning). Between torture sessions there's a bit of a comedic aspect. I couldn't help but laugh when Brent was forced to dance with Lola while he had the knife still in his foot as Lola's dad sprinkled glitter over them. Also, can I mention throughout the film there is a real creepy incestuous vibe between Lola and her dad. In the beginning he watches her change into her dress, and at one point they almost kiss while they're slow dancing.
Aside from that, there's a lot of really creepy dialogue throughout the film, mainly from Lola since in the beginning she drugs Brent so he's basically incapable of speech. Some of it includes her making Brent pee into a cup after asking if he has to "go number 1's or number 2's", then mentions how his penis is crying and she should kiss it better. She then snaps and says she should bite it off instead so Holly can never use it again. The farther into the film we go, we really get to see how sadistic she really is. She enjoys nothing more than causing pain to Brent and during one scene she actually pushes the knife deeper and deeper into him demanding that he cries. In another scene, Brent escapes briefly and manages to hide in a tree. Lola begins throwing large rocks at him, howling with excitement every time one of them gets close to hitting Brent. She also keeps a scrapbook of all the boys she's abducted and killed. I don't want to spoil too much, but let's just say towards the end Lola finally snaps and you really see how dark she can get.
The one thing that really stood out to me (besides the gore effects) was Robin McLeavy's awesome performance. She portrayed a very believable psychopath and at some points I actually believed Robin and Lola were one in the same. With that said, everyone in the cast did a superb job as well, but Robin was obviously the star of the show.
In conclusion, The Loved Ones is an awesome time to be had and should be viewed by fans and non fans of the horror genre alike. It really shows what Australia has to offer and I hope to see more gems to come from the terror down under in the future. It also further backs up my opinion on how foreign cinema is far superior to it's American cousin. The problem with American cinema, like I've said before, is that Hollywood doesn't like to think outside the box and come out with original ideas. They like to do what sells and can be marketed to a mass audience. If you look back at what's come out here, 3 out of 4 times I guarantee you it's a watered down remake of a foreign movie.
That said I ask you, am I not pretty enough?