banner image

:: The Loved Ones

When I first heard that the latest Aussie horror film ‘The Loved Ones’ was being called ‘the best Australian horror film since ‘Wolf Creek’’ I begun thinking ‘oh no they are setting this poor bastard up for a fall’, but now after seeing it I have only one thought in my mind… and that is that ‘The Loved Ones’ far surpasses ‘Wolf Creek’ as a film… and in fact is one of the first perfect films I have seen this year.

Brent Mitchell (Xavier Samuel) and Jamie (Richard Wilson) are best friends in a country town. But things having been going well for Brent since he was at the wheel in a car accident that killed his father. Severely depressed, Brent has a glimmer of excitement about attending the End Of School Year Dance with his girlfriend, Holly (Victoria Thaine), and with Jamie scoring a date with his ‘dream girl’ Mia (Jessica McNamee) it looks like it will be great night. However the night goes downhill very quickly when fellow school pupil Lola (Robin McLeavy) and her father, Eric (John Brumpton) decide to get revenge for Brent rejecting Lola.

Director, Sean Byrne has to be one of the most exciting young directors that Australia has produced for quite a number of years. As far as debut feature films go ‘The Loved Ones’ is one of the best that this country has ever seen. Byrne hasn’t forgotten that aside from some good old-fashioned gore the other important part to a horror film is a good storyline and some great characterisation.

Byrne has gone very close to creating the perfect film. There is certainly very little you can criticize and it is refreshing to see a film where so much effort has been put into the characters. It is easy to see that has put a lot of effort and thought into each of the characters… clearly seen by the character of Mia. A lot of films have trashy alternatives… but how many actually explain how they turn out like that? Here Byrne spells it out so well that you can’t help but shed a tear for her character.

As a result Jessica McNamee clearly shows that she has the talent to really make a name for herself outside of ‘Packed To The Rafters’. She is an obvious stand-out in a film where all the actors are at the top of their game. Xavier Samuel is amazing, while Robin McLeavy and John Brumpton become two of the most gruesome (and psychotic characters) to ever grace Australian cinema screens. Even young Richard Wilson provides some great comic relief.

If you love horror then you simply can’t miss ‘The Loved Ones’. This is not only one of the best Australian horror films to surface this year it is one of the finest horror films to be released this year. ‘The Loved Ones’ has everything – a great script, good characterisation, plenty of gore and acting performances that deserve to attract awards. One of the films of the year!