Hey folks, Valkor here. The month of October, is always a spook-tacular month of costumes, candy, and yea scary movies. For this month I'll be checkin out 15 films that will be sure to scare… or at least startle you from a sound sleep, should you happen to fall asleep while watching. However with the Aussie film "The Loved Ones"; written and directed by Sean Byrne, I think you'll get the creeps something fierce.
The Loved Ones" takes one part "The Crush", (remember that Alicia Silverstone film?) and one part Misery (Kathy Bates. Love ya!), mixes them together to create one horrifying film. Brendt (Xavier Samuel), turns down a date to the dance with classmate Lola (Robin McLeavy) she decides to get back him by having "daddy" (John Brumpton) kidnapping the boy abruptly whilst he's on the phone with mom. The gruesome twosome spend the evening torturing him in all the worst ways, to the theme of an "End of School Days Dance" (is there every a good way to torture someone? Yes… yes there is). The things they put Brendt through, will make Anne Wilkes (Misery) say "DAMN! I should have thought of that!" As it turns out, Lola is used to being rejected, however she's not used to accepting it as she always has her father kidnap and torture the boys who doesn't return her interest. As it happens, Brendt is the latest in a long line of kidnappings. As it also turns out, she and daddy have a bit of a crush on one another… interesting. Needless to say, Brendt's gonna have one long, painful night on his hands.
As a side story, Brendt's friend Jamie (Richard Wilson) is on a hot date with goth chick Mia (Jessica McNamee), who is connected to the story. It would appear, though not outright, her brother also went missing and her "attitude" is her way of dealing with the situation. I didn't get it at first, but at the end you come to realize it and it sorta breaks your heart.
This is the second Aussie horror film I've watched so far (Lake Mungo is the first), and thus far the Aussies are 2 for 2 on the Val scorecard, because The Loved Ones... yeah, it creeps me the hell out with a mix of not only the look and feel of the film, but the music as well, which the film has an amazing soundtrack, tossing in some seriously gory scenes, creating one spectacular horror film. You'll cringe, you'll gasp, and you'll run for the blankets as Brendt is put through his paces, all for the sake of love. Plus it's the kinda film that'll have you screaming at the screen. Not to be a stereotype, but this is one brutha who was shoutin out "Run bitch!" and "Punch her in the face!" a few times. Old school, baby! I gotta give mad props to Robin McLeavy, who goes from being a butt heart teen, to a murderous, psycho bitch. And I'll never get that song, "Not Pretty Enough" by Kasey Chambers, out of my head… for the rest of my life! Xavier Samuel can be called the "Scream King", though I don't think a guy should make a sound like that. Then again I think I would scream that way too if I just had a knife shoved in my foot. The rest of the cast are equally amazing, not one slouch of the bunch, and they really help to carry this film, with a run time of 84 minutes. Oh and did I mention that the soundtrack is bad ass?
Though the film is quite good, you're not really connected to any characters. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Brendt for not only being tortured, but also because he's dealing with the loss of his dad? They're story is pretty brief, though connected to the main plot. Are we to feel sorry for Mia, who is dealing with the loss of her brother? Are we to feel sorry for Lola? Wait scratch that, Lola is a crazy bitch, who got what she deserved in the end. Next, a lot of events simply happen; from Brendt's kidnapping, to the way he was even found! Girlfriend Holly (Victoria Thaine) realizes that Brendt told her of him turning down Lola, so now she has the local cop go to Lola's house to check things out; honestly, how would you make that connection? I thought the Jamie story, was too much filler, nice to see him score a piece, but in the end, it does nothing for the story.
Too many to name, but needless to say I won't be looking at chicken the same. Is it finger lickin good?
Overall, "The Loved Ones" does what it's supposed to do and that's scare the bajeebies out of you! Not only that, but it's simply a fun film to check out. So with Halloween looming, I'd say make "The Loved Ones" part of your rotation of films to watch. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the film a 3.5 and it's been Valkor tested, TOV approved.