THE LOVED ONES (2009)

Written & Directed By: Sean Byrne 
Cinematography By: Simon Chapman 
Editor: Andy Canny  

Cast: Robin McLeavy, Xavier Daniel, Jessica McNamee, Victoria Thaine, Richard Wilson, John Brumpton 

In order to avoid a ghostly figure in the road, high school senior Brent Mitchell wraps his car around a tree, killing his father. Constantly confronted by his mother’s emotional collapse after the accident, Brent escapes into a marijuana-fueled world of loud metal music to block the pain and guilt. Dejected and out of sorts, he has a shot at happiness with his girlfriend Holly, a grounded, caring girl with drop-dead good looks, a dream date for the high school prom. But his plans are thwarted by a disturbing series of events that take place under a mirrored disco ball, involving pink satin, glitter, syringes, nails, power drills, and a secret admirer. Brent has become the prom king at a macabre, sadistic event where he is the entertainment.



I have been waiting a while for this film. I have read up all on it and have been excited to finally have gotten a chance to watch it. After reading mostly glowing reviews and have to say. It wasn’t what was expected and didn’t match up to my expectations. it Blew way past them. I figured this film would be inventive but over the top crazy violence.

While the film takes well-known cliches and expectations and constantly twists them. So that you are always on your toes as it stays unpredictable. Don’t get me wrong there is violence and some nudity. Yet it is never gratuitous nor exploitive. The film sets up Story, Characters, Mood, Tension, Atmosphere truly effective necessities to make a truly unique and fitting horror film. Where no one nor is anything disposable it all means something.

I was amazed as the film proceeded how the film ties everything together in a nice bow. Each event has consequences that affect the characters and their lives. Especially Psychologically.

Robin McLeavy gives a star-turning performance. That is memorable As the main tormentor.

This film feels like a trip into a nightmare deranged wonderland. The mood set by the film is horror at first but then becomes more darkly comedic and goofy. Then around the midway point, it raises the stakes and it becomes more serious and violent.

That is when the film truly becomes scary. It reminded me of what I thought Rob Zombie’s HOUSE OF A THOUSAND corpses would be after seeing the first preview. Where it looked crazy and unpredictable.

Watching the film though it uses small remote locations for the most part. The house that is the main setting is sort of like its own simple funhouse. As the film goes on it keeps raising the stakes and rearranging itself. So it keeps you off balance. 

SPOILER

Enjoyed like the fact that the film doesn’t just present Princess as just usually getting what she wants and this kidnapping is a one-off thing, That she has been mentally pushed to and her father just wanting to give his little girl whatever she wants, but that she and her father are pretty much sociopathic serial killers. With a hinted at Incestuous relationship that so far has yet to be Consummated. I also like the reveal to hint what exactly is wrong with his friend’s prom date.

SPOILER END 

 This is a true original that deserves not only to be seen and discovered as it feels like the type of film you discover on a whim searching for something to watch for the evening. It would be nice if Horror films like these were the type to actually reach cinemas instead of films like CHERNOBYL DIARIES, THE DEVIL INSIDE, Another SAW sequel. Which pollute our cinemas every few weeks, Which feel disposable and unoriginal as they seem to follow the same formula and feel like an extension of a fad. 

This is a film that reeks of skill and passion that went into it. The filmmaker is here to tell a story and illustrate it with visuals, Characters, and dialogue. He achieves that and actually gets reactions and emotions out of the audience. 
Paramount studios were supposed to release it into theaters wide But seemed to try it in a few test markets and speedily dumped it on DVD. It doesn’t realize what a gem it has in its hands and is mishandling it. 

 I look forward to the future works of Director Sean Byrne and the cast. This is a film that is a secret for now but do yourself a favor see it and tell your friends about it. So it can achieve the respect and audience it deserves. 

 GRADE: B+

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