Happy holidays! The holidays are a time for togetherness and being with your family. That’s why I decided to watch the 2009 Australian horror flick The Loved Ones. Ok, so it’s not about holidays. But it is about who you love, why you love them, and how far you would go to get someone to love.
Xavier Samuel plays cute stoner Brent.
He’s dealing with the car accident he was in six months ago, which killed his father, so now he self-mutilates and smokes a lot of pot. I don’t think you have to have a parent die to be like that as a teenager. Anyway, the big end of year dance is coming up and Brent is going with his girlfriend, Holly (Victoria Thaine.) I’m not sure if this is equivalent to a prom. It seems a little casual to be a prom but I’m not sure how big the idea of proms are internationally. For brevity’s sake, I’m going to call it a prom.
Lola (Robin McLeavy) asks Brent to the prom but he rejects her.
I’d just like to add that one of my notes about this movie is that the actors looked like teenagers and I just found out that Robin McLeavy is thirty-one years old. Ok, so she was twenty-eight when the movie came out and probably a bit younger when it was made, so they did a good job. It’s part of why I hate American portrayals of teenagers, they all look like middle-aged hookers.
Brent goes out for a quick hike before the prom and is quickly ethered. He wakes up to this scene.
Turns out that Lola doesn’t like hearing “no” and her Dad (John Brumpton) will go to any lengths to ensure that his princess gets what she wants. This includes a prom just for them–them being Lola, her Dad, Brent, and Lola’s lobotomized mom Bright Eyes (Ann Scott-Pendlebury.) The rest of the movie is basically about Lola and Dad’s increasingly creative tortures of Brent. There’s also a subplot about Brent’s friends that shows the effects of the increasing number of missing teenage boys from their community, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Snowtown murders.
I really liked this movie. I love just about any horror involving the prom. Plus, there’s something refreshing about the way the film-maker, Sean Byrne, took the usual rejected psycho and turned it upside down. There are metric tons of movies about men stalking women and going crazy after being rejected by women. It’s nice seeing the woman be the torturer, it’s kind of reminiscent of Asami from Audition. There’s something amazing watching Lola be crazy and Robin McLeavy really has an amazing performance.
The movie isn’t just about gorey scares. Watching the relationship between Lola and her Dad is delightfully creepy.
In the last decade, we’ve watched France, and then Spain produce some amazing horror movies. I’d say to keep an eye on Australia, they’re next.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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