The Loved Ones is a hard film to review, without giving away the premise behind the film. I went into it completely oblivious as to what it was about and came out glad that I didn't read anything that would spoil the film. So, I'm going to try my hardest to not ruin much about the movie and just tell you the basics as to whether or not you should watch it, but I'm sure you already know what I'm going to tell you, but let's play dumb and read on...
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: When Brent turns down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.
The Loved Ones comes to us from the wonderful place known as Australia. If you've see any other horror films that have come out of the Outback, such as the great Wolf Creek, you know you're in for a treat. That's exactly what The Loved Ones is, a disturbing treat that will leave a copper taste in your mouth from the beating you'll get from watching it, but don't worry, it's a good beating. The basic premise behind the movie falls into the unsettling genre known as torture porn (Hostel being a perfect example of that description). The difference however with The Loved Ones, is that it manages to serve you up some dark humor to go along with said torture. Plus, you get to witness the amazingly talented lead actress Robin McLeavy, who plays Lola, a high school student who's had one too many rejections under her belt and will do anything to find her prince. The best way I can describe Lola, is as crazy hot (two descriptors, not one). This was also my first time seeing Robin McLeavy and after her wonderfully morbid performance here, I can only look forward to seeing her in more. Besides her, we also have Xavier Samuel (Twilight: Eclipse), playing Brent, an angst ridden teen (for good reason) who gets caught up in a nightmarish situation. For most of the movie he doesn't have much to do, but sit and witness some very bizarre and almost Texas Chainsaw Massacre-like shenanigans. I did rather enjoy his one moment to shine, where he manages to kick some ass, which had me fist punching the air along with him.
I have yet to mention the music, which shouldn't be forgotten, as it's pretty damn good, with a few haunting themes (with this little diddy being my favorite) to go along with an appropriately placed country song, called "Not Pretty Enough", by Kasey Chambers. I'm usually not a fan of country music, but I thought it sounded nice and certainly matched the themes of the movie.
Now, The Loved Ones isn't all roses and chocolates. No, we do have some rather disjointed plot-lines happening, which take up a good portion of the 84 minute runtime. The main culprit I'm talking about, is any scene involving Brent's friend, Jamie. It revolves around him going on a date with a dark mysterious woman, who's father happens to be a police officer (a really crappy police officer, as you will find out when you watch the movie). Besides that very small connection to the main storyline (police daddy), everything else is complete filler and wasn't needed at all. That whole side plot amounts to a big waste of time. Finally, the acting from Brent's mother was a little on the bland side, especially the end, where her reaction was equal to a wooden stick with a smiley face painted on it.
I'm hoping I did a good enough job to not spoil anything, but yet prove that you should check out The Loved Ones. Mind you though, it won't be for everyone, as it does have some pretty intense and gory scenes. Also, the plot will certainly throw you some curve balls, where your only natural reaction is to proclaim out loud "what the f...". However, if you're like me and enjoy a little sadistic, wacky and sometimes humorous story, you'll be pleased to know that I recommend The Loved Ones with all my heart.