A Chopped Liver Favourite: The Loved Ones (2009) – Australian Horror Gold

Living in Australia there are a lot of negative feelings towards Australian cinema. I mean the general consensus seems to be that there aren’t any good Australian films made any more. Well The Loved Ones chews that theory up and spits it right back out. Of course I have seen many Australian gems through out the years but The Loved Ones has stayed with me ever since I first saw it. The Loved Ones is a sort of homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a real interest in its infamous family dinner scene. Set in country Australia a shy lonely girl, Lola, asks the handsome misfit Brent to the school prom. He turns her down leaving Lola to create a plan of revenge with her father so brutal, horrifying and hilarious it nearly comes close to the craziness of the TCM original dinner scene. Both father and daughter kidnap Brent and give him one prom night he will never forget.

Now let me tell you the gore is unbelievably rampant in this film, which makes it extremely uncomfortable to watch at times. Yet unlike films in the same vein as Saw where the torture is just for tortures sake The Loved Ones ups the crazy factor to 11 so while you are covering your eyes you are also giggling at the madness of Lola and her father. It can be extremely difficult to balance that fine line between comedy and horror but once the director succeeds it’s like a film orgasm for me. Some of the best horror films I’ve seen have elements of comedy buried inside and this really makes for an outstanding film.

The acting of the cast is strong to say the least with special mention going to Robin McLeavy who plays Lola. Her portrayal in the film is what best can be described as mentally insane. Even though she plays that stereotype up you can’t help but empathise with her loneliness and hate her for her cruelty at the same time. Xavier Samuel as the ‘final boy?!’ is wickedly fitting and it says a lot about him as an actor when he only has a few lines but can convey so much.

When I saw this at the cinema there was no one but me and my mate, so I wanted to write this article as a sort of puff piece to highly recommend this sick and twisted and gory and f!@#ed up film. You won’t regret spending the night with Lola in her house of horror.


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