Thursday, October 15, 2015

Horrors of October - The Loved Ones

The Loved Ones (2009)

When the boy she likes politely declines her request to go to the prom with her, an emotionally volatile girl gets her daddy to snatch him up in order for him to attend their own version of prom. If FRONTIER(S) was the French version of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE LOVED ONES can labeled as the Aussie interpretation, especially since the majority of the film is an extended take on the infamous family dinner scene. I would even say this is far more disturbing that FRONTIER(S) as the sheer amount of unending torture counterweighs the near lack of cathartic release. So why would I give more favor to this dark gem? I could just say Robin McLeavy and leave it at that, as she is so amazing as the deranged Lola Stone, able to flesh out the disturbed little girl in every scene and make her one of the most effective horror villains in recent history. Her co-star John Brumpton, as Lola's enabling and sexually confused daddy, also shines bright thanks to his wide eye stares and cold expressions. Writer-director Sean Byrne for the most part delivers a perfectly harsh experience, often removing the soundtrack so the acting can come center stage or know when to push the grisly sound effects and cut the picture at the right time. Where I dock points, however, is the film's shaky juggling of three separate stories and moods: the main ghastly tale, a brief and somber look at how personal tragedies affect two parents, and the head-scratching subplot involving the protagonist's pot-smoking best bud and the goth girl he goes to the prom with. I understand that this questionable side-story was included to prevent the viewer from being exhausted by the rampant sadism and throw in some bawdy humor instead of the selectively planned out black comedy but it still just feels awkward. And the less said about the minor "crawling-in-my-skin" scene, the better. If you have a high tolerance for pain and willing to be squeamish, this excellent movie will do the job.


No comments:

Post a Comment