THE LOVED ONES (2009) Reviews and overview

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‘Prom night can be torture’

The Loved Ones is a 2009 Australian horror feature film written and directed by Sean Byrne (The Devil’s Candy). The movie stars Xavier Samuel and Robin McLeavy.


Brent (Xavier Samuel) is driving with his father in the passenger seat, when a bloodied man appears in the middle of the road. Swerving to avoid hitting the man, Brent’s vehicle collides with a tree.

Six months later, Brent is planning to attend a high school dance with girlfriend Holly (Victoria Thaine), having refused an offer by Lola Stone (Robin McLeavy). Holly drives the pair on account of the car crash: it is revealed that Brent’s father died in the accident. Wracked with guilt, Brent has turned to recreational cannabis use and self-mutilation with a razor blade he keeps on a necklace.


While listening to music, Brent is attacked from behind. Bound to a chair, he wakes up at Lola’s house sitting at a table with Lola, her father (John Brumpton), and a lobotomized woman they call Bright Eyes (Anne Scott-Pendlebury). Lola’s father has turned his house into a dance for his daughter. Lola takes a syringe and fills it with bleach and injects it into Brent’s voice box making him unable to scream or talk…

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“Byrne, a first-time director, has a lot of fun with what is essentially rote slasher material, endowing it with the kind of blackly comic wit and levity […] And so while The Loved Ones is, as many others have declared, the best horror film to come out of Australia since 2005’s Wolf Creek, its manic, satisfying thrills couldn’t be further from that film’s cold brutality…” Calum Marsh, Slant Magazine

“Gore hounds will definitely find a lot to sink their fangs into on this one, yet there is enough between the gore that it might even be the kind of film one could share with their significant other who doesn’t quite enjoy these types of films. The Loved Ones is definitely torture with substance…” Horror News

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