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The Loved Ones,
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This review is from: The Loved Ones [DVD] (DVD)
It's hardly going to revolutionise a genre, but it is definitely several rungs above your standard teen horror, torture porn or gore fest. It's a bit of all three, but original enough and very well made, so it avoids being just another one of those. The three main actors in the party house are fantastic, and the dark humour there lifts the film from being an endurance test of the torture that's involved. The torture itself is inventive and squirm-inducing (my boyfriend is still traumatised by the boiling water,) well shot, and convincing. I was thoroughly invested in the characters. I wanted the boy to escape and live, and strongly wanted the nutjob girl to get her just desserts. The subplot of the stoner and the goth kid was pointless and a bit distracting, and the tie-in with the opening car crash was a bit lame, but not really an issue overall. The ending was good enough. I hate happy endings when you know that the filmmakers just didn't have the guts to do anything else, but I also hate the trend of deliberately nihilistic endings that feel too contrived. This feels satisfying enough and not overdone - no one getting up several times when they should be dead, no stupid characters leaving shotguns within reach of baddies. If you're a horror fan this is a must-see, if you're not but can handle a bit of sickness, you'll still probably enjoy what is a good film.