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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 11 October 2010
Saw this at FrightFest in August and just got my copy on DVD now, it's amazing, a great twist on Stephen King's superb Carrie [DVD] [1976], a less gross version of Mum And Dad [2008] [DVD] and a Movie about mad obsession in a similar vain to Misery (Special Edition) [1991] [DVD] I don't want to ruin the story too much. It's full of dark humour and gore, some superb acting from a cast with amazing potential. Xavier Samuel the lead guy is in the last Twilight instalment The Twilight Saga: Eclipse [DVD] playing Riley. The whole story evolves around prom night and just how far a loving father(too loving in my opinion) will go to keep his daughter happy. Seriously good, will be watching this one quite a few times!!

UPDATE 01/01/2011 - Watched the film again and loved it again, very well made and love the side story of the slightly oddly matched but well played couple who actually go to the real prom. Quite clever how the girl is linked to the main story, and a touching moment later on which links her in.

EXTRAS on the DVD - Even though they are a bit brief in places, but with interviews with all the major cast and director answering basic questions about their love of horror movies (or not) and involvement in this one. Some nice behind the scenes footage with some good insight into the making of the movie.

Overall still loving this film. If you find the review useful, give me the thumbs up please :) Thanks!
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on 27 April 2012
This is another gem of the year for horror fans! A very strange story about a psycho girl who abducts her prom dates ever since an early age with the help of her deranged father, the movie is very dark and sinister and is brilliantly directed, there are some good gore moments and a few other deranged surprises thrown in the mix! Overall its a fresh, original and fantastic to watch little horror film that has a strong cast and has the power to be a cult classic.
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on 26 January 2016
A very good film containing sex, romance, a little comedy by way of Richard Wilson and violence by the bucket-load which is what I've come to expect from these Aussie films which is classed as 'horror' which it really isn't (not in the mode of Dracula or Werewolf) rather than 'extremely violent' which it really is (in the mode of 'The Horseman' another Aussie classic). Brent (Xavier Samuel) who blames himself for the death of his father in a car Brent was driving is sullen, moody and has low self-esteem but he has a very bubbly girl friend Holly (Victoria Thaine). The two are going to their school prom and he is asked by 'Princess' (Robin McLeavy) if HE will take HER but he declines. She, who has seemingly ALWAYS got her own way, everything she has asked for and is both spoilt and selfish doesn't take the refusal lying down and having told doting 'Daddy'(John Brumpton) what has happened, Brent is semi-suffocated to make him unconscious and then disappears only to wake in the asylum like home of 'Princess'. Enough said as I don't wish to give away more of the plot. At times I felt it was a bit of 'violence for violence sake' but generally the storyline does require it.
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on 24 September 2012
Every so often you see a movie that really defies attempts to classify or pigeonhole it. As near as I can manage it, The Loved Ones is the unholy offspring of a mating between Muriel's Wedding and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; pastel-shaded bouncy Aussie comedy fun one minute, the next a sadistic little ball of incestuous hate and madness. I think it was love at first sight for me.

After a car accident takes teenaged Brent's father from him, the lad descends into an introverted world of pot and self-harm. The only real bright spots left in his world are his loveably-hopeless best mate Jamie and his supportive girlfriend Holly. The high school prom is approaching fast, and while our hero intends to go with his best girl, he gets a surprise offer from the meek and quiet Lola. He turns her down, but it soon becomes apparent that some girls take rejection very badly, and Brent's prom night rapidly descends into a nightmare of kidnapping, humiliation and mutilation at the hands of the not-so-meek-and-mild Lola and her doting Daddy, who loves his little girl a little bit too much...

The Loved Ones is nothing new, and in the current climate of braindead horror movies that seem to revel in inflicting torture and suffering on faceless young people for no other reason than to get a reaction out of a jaded young audience that have absorbed one too many shock website images, it would seem that a movie like this would have little to make it stand out from the crowd. However, the violence in The Loved Ones is all part of an ultra-black comedy, and as horrible as having a hole drilled in your skull might be, this movie succeeds in making it laugh-out-loud funny. Granted, if you're a bit squeamish, you might not see the funny side of it, but if you can get past that The Loved Ones is a movie that makes serial murder laugh material. The whole thing is contrasted by seperating prom night between Brent's ordeal, his girlfriend and mother trying to find out where he has vanished to, and Jamie having the best prom ever with the school's bad girl Mia, a clever pattern between tension, comedy, and a bleak blend of the two is maintained until the movie's climax.

Combined with some sinister low-key lighting and sets, and a dynamic and genuinely disturbing turn from Robin McLeavy as the gleefully unhinged Lola - at once girlish, cutesy and completely, utterly insane - The Loved Ones proves that for all its obvious slasher movie progenitors it can offer something different, entertaining, wince-inducing, unabashedly Aussie and very funny if you're a little bit twisted... you'd never think a pretty girl in a pink dress could give Leatherface a run for his money, but check this movie out and you might just think she can.
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on 24 March 2011
My brother-in-law has a penchant for buying my wife and I films of questionable quality for special occasions. Suffice it to say, I had low expectations of this offering. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

I'm not one to regurgitate the synopsis to pad out a review so i'll cut to the chase. There really is very little new here but, let's face it, few films genuinely break new ground. Formulaic isn't necessarily bad; it's what you do with it that counts. The opening scene will have you scratching your head (ostensibly to establish the death of the protaganist's father) until halfway through the film.

After that, it's a rather ponderous start and I found myself disliking the rather lacklustre lead character. It's only once we're introduced to the highly dysfunctional (to say the least) antagonist's family that the fun really starts and I began to feel for Samuel's plight. The latter two thirds of the film is largely an exercise in sadistic torture (much more so than Texas Chainsaw Massacre in my opinion) which only serves to root for him even further (not least the unfortunate previous victims). The ending - admittedly - was rather pedestrian in comparison but overall a solid horror film well worth watching.
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on 22 April 2014
I enjoyed this movie, it has a rawness about it and maybe a certain naivety that retracts a little from suspense but is still very watchable. It doesn't really allow the viewer to do anything as it's so in your face, but the gore is quite well done and made the film enjoyable. This film is a little like 'Carrie' with the neurotic prom queen, who gets mad but there is where the similarity ends. Unlike Carrie, the protagonist takes control and we find out that she is a major manipulator with a very dark secret world. I would recommend
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on 26 February 2016
The Loved Ones is an Australian classic horror. It focuses on a girl called Lola that is set for revenge when her invitation to the prom is rejected by a boy called Brent. So instead, Lola and her very disturbing father decide to throw their own prom including Brent where Lola is the queen and must pick her king. Completely shocking, eye-opening and mesmerising - The Loved Ones is a contemporary horror with stunning cinematography that will keep you gripped from beginning to end. If you are a classic horror lover, this is one for you.
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After seeing the trailers for this film on another Blu Ray, I thought I'd give it a go. I'm glad I did, as there was lots to love about Loved Ones.

This gory teen-romance follows a date from hell that leads to all sorts of weird and wonderful places. The film is shot with care and attention (although in places this can feel a littel 'worthy') and the Australian scenery provides and beautiful backdrop to some very dark proceedings.

Much of the film takes place at night though, and as the story unfolds you're treated to some wonderful characters and acting - including particularly brilliant performances from the leading lady and her doting farther.

The story is very simple, yet manages to keep a few surprises up its sleeves for you. These both add to the story and keep your interest as events play out in this twisted tale of torture and unrequited puppy-love.

Horror and hack and slash films aren't usually one of my favourite genres of film, but I found Loved Ones had enough going on in it to help it stand out from the pack. It offers more than just blood gore, giving us wonderful sets and scenery, great characters, superb acting and some very dark comedy.

Love Ones basically takes your average tale about a bunny boiler - and turns the gas on full blast until the pot boils over.
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on 20 October 2010
This is a pretty horrific ride, though follows some of the typical "dumb teenagers in the woods" response patterns to danger, i.e. stupid choices that keeps the victim in bondage and the killers at play. Also follows the routine of mortal wounds not being mortal in fact and other feats that completely defy reality, e.g. would you be walking around after having had a steak knife driven through each foot? Not to mention having your forehead drilled through the skull. But then if the torture showed in this movie were to follow a more realistic course it would have been a shorter movie than it was already.

What may impress some horror buffs in this movie is just how far and sadistic the tortures go. They are very creative about this - as a bonus to the mind numbing tortures they put their victim through, there's the added bonus of their simultaneous humiliation tactics.

I wouldn't put this movie in the class of 'black humor'. There is very little humor in it - unless you find psychopaths humorous. It is too serious to be associated with most definitions of the term. For black humor I think "Buffalo 66", "Heathers", "Pretty In Pink", "6 Feet Under" occasionally, or to go back a ways "Dr Strangelove" or something by Vonnegut. What those have in common is the degree to which they've pushed the serious toward the absurd. But while this movie was fairly absurd in terms of how much the human body can take, it was more grounded in serious attempts to scare than anything you'd find in those movies. Yes it's the prom night from hell. I get it.

Lest I rant negative the whole time, what this movie does have going for it is some rather layered character and story development before the gore-fest begins. It doesn't come off low budget in tone. But while it starts off in the direction of drama, it veers quickly into horror (and not black humor as most know it). Its drama then becomes something of a farce as it hits all the stops on the horror trail - albeit with some fairly original new tactics and convincing work by the actors. If you're looking for black humor you may be disappointed. Looking for higher-than-average grade cut 'em up that ought to frazzle your nerves a bit, this may be for you.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 October 2011
The Loved Ones is written and directed by Sean Byrne and stars Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy and John Brumpton. An Australian horror, the plot sees Brent Mitchell (Samuel) kill his father in a car accident. Stricken with grief he attempts to get on with his life aided by his girlfriend Holly (Victoria Thaine). But when the quietest girl in school, Lola Stone (McLeavy), asks him to the prom and he says no, he finds that he is suddenly the prom king star of a very different sort of party....

Kinda sick, kinda twisted, but an utterly compelling Aussie blood letting exercise that transcends torture porn whilst revelling in a sick sense of humour. With wry observations on teen angst and meditations on grief, loneliness, alienation and forbidden desires, Sean Byrne's film isn't out to solely shock the audience. With an evidently small budget to work from, Byrne has kept things tight and minimalist, this aids the film considerably, adding a sort of realism to the characters before it goes into overdrive as Brent (Samuel superb) finds that politely turning down Lola's (McLeavy a wonderfully monstrous creation) request has opened up (literally) a new world of pain. There's a misstep of a subplot involving another fumbling Goth couple actually going to the real prom, it serves no purpose other than to up the horny angst quota, but this is mostly slick/sick stuff. Backed by a kicking soundtrack, that's headed by the reoccurring Kasey Chambers hit single "Not Pretty Enough", itself creepy personified, The Loved Ones is highly recommended to horror fans who like a bit of torture in their diets. 8/10
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