The Loved Ones’ premise isn’t anything special: a girl, Lola (Robin McLeavy) captures a boy, Brent (Xavier Samuel) after he refuses to take her to the prom. Together with her loving father, they go about torturing Brent as he desperately tries to find a way to escape. It’s a pretty standard affair, but the great thing about the film is what director Sean Byrne does with the material.
The entire film is thoroughly gripping from start to finish. Robin McLeavy’s performance as the psycho princess Lola is as captivating as it is unsettling to watch. No part of the film makes it feel strained or out of place, which can be the downfall of so many horror films. A good script, tight editing and great acting really sell the story, while the Australian outback serves as a stunning backdrop for the mayhem that gradually unfolds. This is a film that you should see; even if it’s outline is slightly lackluster.
Highlights: The sub plot about Brent’s friend actually attending the ball is an interesting addition to the movie. Plus it mercifully eases some of the tension.