The Aussies had a great run with horror flick Wolf Creek, but since then there hasn’t been much talk of anything extreme to come out of Australia. 2009’s The Loved Ones on the other hand sparked a few conversations.
The plot is fairly simple, Lola (Robin McLeavy) asks Brent (Xavier Samuel) to the prom, but he rejects her offer as he has a girlfriend he planned on going with in the first place. Not taking the rejection very well, Lola and her somewhat incestuous father kidnaps Brent, grabs some boxes of “finger licking” fried chicken and takes him to the prom, well, her prom which takes place in their house. Waking up to a disco ball, tied to a chair, with ribbons, balloons and glitter everywhere, the only thing that separates Brent and his death sentence, is a power drill.
As it is Sean Bryne’s directorial debut, it wasn’t going to be perfect. Getting the worst out of the way, Brent’s best friend Jamie goes to the prom with what appears to be the “outcast” of the school. During the film, the scenes cut back and forth to them which aren’t necessary at all, there was absolutely no need. You’d think they would become part of the plot, but sorry to disappoint, they don’t. It’s just probably a way to sort of ease the pain after witnessing the horrific torture methods Lola comes up with.
The best bits always involve Lola. McLeavy’s portrayal of this psychotic girl is pure brilliance. Evil isn’t even the right word to use around Lola. Strutting around in her hot pink prom dress, she really could be one of the most memorable female villains ever. She has this sort of spilt personality style about her. Soft spoken and innocent at first but within the blink of an eye, she’ll be shouting and screaming at Brent, bringing tears to his eyes with her torture methods. She is one crazy, psychotic, messed up girl.
It is a really simple horror flick as it has everything a horror flick usually has, blood, sex, torture, and more blood and it really does get you cringing in your seat, shouting at the screen (especially when Brent has to endure his feet being nailed to the floor using knives).
Without making much of a dent in the genre, it is fun to watch the roles reversed and it will leave you acknowledging how psychotic the mind can be once something so small sets it off. You can see how much fun Byrne had with the role reversal from the moment Lola and her father pulls out a hammer and a nail with Brent’s manly hood hanging out of his trousers.
Overall it wasn’t bad at all; the soundtrack was quite entertaining too, with an Indie vibe. As said before, it’s simple, not scary, but it will definitely make you a bit paranoid around anyone named Lola.