February 15, 2014

Blu-ray Review- The Loved Ones (2010)

Valentines Day 2014 may be over, but that doesn't mean that the romantic Horror movies of the world just up and disappear!

The Loved Ones is one movie that we left off of our 10 Horror Movies to watch on Valentines Day list, mainly because we were just about to give it the full review treatment, so why repeat ourselves, you know?

The Loved Ones is truly a movie about loved ones. Sure, most of the love that goes on between people in this movie is either sad, creepy, or just plain disturbing, but it's still all love.

Brent is doing his best to get over the death of his father, who he killed with maverick Hot Rod driving. At least prom is coming up though, and he and his QT girlfriend can have themselves a nice time and forget about such tragic things. Being the sexy, edgy, bad boy of his High School, it's only natural that a lot of girls want Brent to be their date for the prom, especially Lola. Unfortunately for her, he says no her prom invite, which leaves her feeling quite unhappy.

This is Lola's "unhappy" face.
When Daddy kidnaps Brent for Lola, who is his little Princess, she is overjoyed; he's turned their living room into the creepiest dance hall ever, and now she and Brent can have the prom of her twisted dreams! Daddy ties Brent to a chair while she dresses up all fancy (which Daddy watches, wantonly), and with the knives, the drill, and syringe filled with bleach at the ready, the worst prom ever gets under way.

Looks like it could end up being a really good time.
When Daddy crowns his little Princess "Queen of the Dance," they end up slow-dancing with each other, and she tells him that he has always been the one for her... which leaves Brent out in the cold as far as any hopes of after-prom romance goes. No worries though, because they have a lobotomy and all kinds of torture in store for him, because that's just how psychopaths behave at a proper dance.

She really is Daddy's Girl. Yeah.
What follows next can only be described as being "a crazy cacophony of blood and violence, as only the twisted minds of Australian Filmmakers can bring us." That is to say that the shit hits the fan, goes in some crazy directions (the pit), and the prom does not end on a happy note for everybody involved... especially for the tragic character of Bright Eyes; all she ever wanted to do was sit there and watch, you know?

In this scene, the drill is about to hit the head.
The Loved Ones is a solid little Aussie flick that really pushes the boundaries of nastiness. It's a well-made film that balances a solid plot with elements of extreme gore and violence to bring us a story about the many kinds of love, and how most of them are just plain old dysfunctional.

There's even a subplot in the movie that is related to the main story, but functions as a sweet (if not dysfunctional) love story of its own. It was kinda cool to see a "normal" subplot unfolding amidst the craziness of everything else that was going on in this movie. This is one Horror flick that twists and turns in the right ways, and even takes you to a few places that you just don't expect it to.

Why writer/director Sean Byrne hasn't done any other movies since this one is beyond us, because the guy knows how to craft himself one hell of a Horror movie. Then again, they way that the distribution for The Loved Ones has dragged on for the last few years, it's very possible that he's been too busy trying to get this movie out there to think about doing another one. We hope that changes soon.

The real reason that The Loved Ones works so well, aside from the shameless amounts of blood and gore that it offers, is its cast, and especially its lead actress; if you aren't familiar with Robin McLeavy, then you're missing out on one hot little piece of talent. She's great on AMC's Hell on Wheels, and is even better here in the role of genuine psychopath. There's no way that this girl's career will go anywhere but up in the future, as she's one hell of an actress.

Everyone else in this movie does a solid job as well, but it really is Robin McLeavy's show.

For a movie about an Australian prom, we found it a little bit discouraging that the music of Olivia Newton-John, Air Supply, Men at Work, Rick Springfield, or Kylie Minogue wasn't used at all!

"Under the Milky Way" by The Church could have played during the prom scenes, and the Bee Gees classic "How Deep is Your Love" would have been prefect for the scene where Lola and Daddy were creepy-dancing.

I mean, we don't even get any Bee Gees?!? WTF, Australia!

*Including "Not Pretty Enough" by Kasey Chambers was pretty perfect though, as was "Lonesome Loser" by The Little River Band.

"Crazy" by Icehouse would have been a perfect song for this movie. Perfect, we say!
If you've seen The Loved Ones already, then good on ya', because it's had one hell of a time getting to audiences over the past few years.

-It was released on the Festival Circuit way back in late 2009.
-It was released on UK DVD a year later in October of 2010.
-In November of 2010, it finally saw a Theatrical Release in Australia, which is the movie's country of origin. That seems completely ass-backwards to us, but alright.
-A year and a half later, in June of 2012, it finally had a Limited Theatrical Release in the U.S.

As of today, you can get a copy of The Loved Ones on Blu-ray if you have a Region Free Player, or if you live in the UK, Australia, France or Germany. Live in the U.S.? Then you can only get it on DVD.

The way that movie companies distribute and release their films in different markets across the world will never make sense to us. It's as if they don't realize that the Internet exists, and that movie lovers don't know what's going on in every corner of the world, at any given moment. Information travels worldwide now, Studios; seeing great trailers and positive reviews for movies that we want to see is frustrating if you don't plan on giving all of us a chance to see them, at least in some sort of timely fashion.

VOD is starting to fix this issues, to an extent, but the fact remains that far too many great movies remain unseen by the world at large because the worldwide distribution strategy implemented by most Studios is a joke.

My guess is that more people downloaded The Loved Ones for free rather than paying to see it, or paying to own it in the format that best suits their tastes, because they were never given the opportunity to do so legitimately.

That, my friends, is a perfect example of a crying shame.

The Loved Ones is a crazy graphic movie. We get to see feet nailed to floors, an attempted lobotomy with a drill, a man being eaten alive by mongoloids, hammer violence, meat cleaver violence, mutilation by knife, murder by car, and plenty of other disturbing acts. Salt is even thrown on open wounds.

This movie is a Gore lover's paradise.

That tattoo looks infected.
We get two instances of naked car sex, and we get to see Robin McLeavy change in front of her Daddy... who wantonly ogles her the whole time. Disturbing as some of it may be, it's all pretty subtle and fleeting.

Never shun the creepy girl at School. Also, sometimes even the sluttiest of sluts are really just looking for a hug. They have feelings too, man.

This picture is exactly what it looks like.
The Loved Ones is a wicked little movie that hasn't gotten the proper release (or recognition) that it deserves, which is really a shame. It's a gory Torture Porn venture that actually has a solid plot, looks fantastic, and boasts some really good performances, so what's not to love?

If you want to see this one, you'll have to stream it on Amazon Instant, order the DVD from Amazon, or import the Blu-ray (if you've got a Region B or Region Free Player), as it doesn't look to be streaming for free anywhere. Whichever way you go though, it will be well worth your time and money.


Robin McLeavy, Victoria Thaine, and Jessica McNamee make for one sexy trio of Aussie hotness in The Loved Ones.


  1. I watched it last year and it was as fantastic as you depicted it in your review. I give it 4,5 out of 5 stars. Yeah, a real shame that this is not have been loved enough. I defintely would watch another movie crafted by this talented writer and director.

  2. Love this movie, so original. I really dug the little side story too with the best friend.

  3. That side story really was a great part of the movie, wasn't it?

    Definitely a great movie.