• The Loved Ones

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    It's beginning to look a lot like Valentine's Day! Ah, couples holding hands, cuddling up and celebrating each others love! Yes, I hate it. So, it's the perfect time to delve into one of those “love” films. You know, boy meets girl, girl wants to date boy but he rejects her; so girl turns into a murderous psycho. The typical stuff, we've all been there. I am going to keep this short! Let's take a look at the loved ones! 
    Look, when they threaten to nail a man's junk to a chair,
    then I've got no jokes to make!
    Brent (Xavier Samuel) accidentally killed his father in a car accident and now he spends most of his days tuned out and disconnected from the world. Suffering from depression and beat down by guilt, Brent mutes his pain with drugs. The only light in his life is his dedicated girlfriend Holly(Victoria Thain). Prom night is coming up and she wants him to take her to the dance. Another contender is taking her chances though. Shy little wallflower, Lola (Robin McLeavy) musters up all of her courage and ask Brent to be her date for prom night. He gently lets her down and leaves her standing alone in the school hallway. Brent never makes it to the dance though as a stranger drugs and kidnaps him. When he wakes up he finds himself strapped to a chair and at the mercy of Lola and her father! As he suffers unspeakable torture, He must fight to stay alive and find a way to escape before he permanently joins Lola's “collection” of dream dates.
    Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...
    First of all, Australian horror rocks! After Wolf Creek surprised me, this film downright thrilled me. It gets right down to business and doesn't waste much time to get to the brutal stuff and believe me, this film doesn't shy away from a little blood. There is a subplot that seems to have nothing to do with the main story but the two story lines meet near the end but not in an entirely satisfying way. In fact, the whole third act is a bit too much actually. Had they toned it down slightly and eased us into the madness of the latter part of the movie, it would have been easier to swallow and digest. It's like they turned up the volume from a 5 to 10 in one turn. 
    It gets much, much worse!
    Is that a bad thing then? No, because the performances are so strong that you can forgive little beauty faults in the writing. Xavier Samuel's character Brent goes through an extreme amount of bodily harm. His kidnappers paralyze his vocal cords, so his performance is largely wordless and silent. He has to emote that pain, fear and anger through his eyes, facial expressions and body language and it works. The absolute star of this film is Robin McLeavy though. Her character Lola is utterly and I do mean utterly insane! Everything she says and does is soaked in venom and pure evil. This in stark contrast to her Barbie doll looks. It makes her even more terrifying. And yes, I do mean terrifying as McLeavy isn't playing this for laughs. Her portrayal of Lola is truly phenomenal.
    Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets
    Apart from minor gripes with the story, I don't really have anything negative to say about this film. All the actors are top notch, the director clearly knew what he was doing. The cinematography is excellent and everything is beautifully lit. Best of all, this is truly a horror movie. Yes, it is funny but in a cringing, looking away from the screen kind of way. It's that over the top. This is a movie that delivers and I can't recommended it enough. Be sure to watch it with your significant other. Happy Valentine's day!

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