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The Loved Ones

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The Loved Ones

Montreal Premiere

  • Australia 2009
  • 84 min
  • 35mm
  • English
WINNER: People's Choice Award - Midnight Madness, Toronto International Film Festival 2009
Official Selection, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, San Francisco International Film Festival 2010

Genre

Horror

Screening Times

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“An astoundingly deftly handled combination of light-hearted macabre humour and grisly, chilling violence... Truly enjoyable, truly independent, truly scary” — Mike Cameron, DREAD CENTRAL

Credits

Director: Sean Byrne
Screenplay: Sean Byrne
Cast: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, Victoria Thaine, Richard Wilson, Jessica McNamee
Producers: Michael Boughen, Mark Lazarus
Print Source: Darclight

Hockey

Description

Teenager Brent is given over to depression and fits of self-mutilation after being behind the wheel for a car accident that killed his own father. That the accident was not at all Brent’s fault—he swerved to avoid a bloodied and beaten man who stumbled into the path of his car—does not seem to matter. His home, now reduced to just Brent and his mother, is a dry and muted place filled with nothing but guilt and quiet despair. The only bright point in Brent’s life at all is Holly, his beautiful and vibrant girlfriend, the only soul with any chance at pulling Brent out of his self-imposed exile and, of course, his date for the year-end dance. And there's the problem. You see, Brent has also caught the eye of Lola, the awkward school loner. And while Lola may fade in to the background at school, let’s just say Lola is used to getting what she wants and more than willing to employ any means necessary to get it. And if Brent won't come willingly, well, there are other ways. There always have been...

An intense treatise on teen obsession, screenwriter/director Sean Byrne’s THE LOVED ONES fuses elements of the high school drama with extreme horror and twists them all into an entirely new configuration, creating a new horror icon in the process. We've seen Brent (Xavier Samuel, soon to be setting teenage girls’ hearts throbbing the world over thanks to his role in the third TWILIGHT film) many times before, but Lola—Lola is something else entirely, the fevered creation of someone who was clearly terrified of his sister's Barbie dolls as a child. She's all glitter and pink satin and veterinary drugs and knives and punishment, all of it carried out with the help of her seriously unbalanced father, with whom she shares a disturbingly pseudo-sexual relationship. Riding the back of one of the most arresting characters to appear on screen in years, THE LOVED ONES ups the ante considerably for what was already a hard-surging Australian genre-film wave and marks Byrne as a definite director to watch.

—Todd Brown

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