Two Aussie YA films in 2010! This is certainly a treat. Earlier in September the much anticipated Tomorrow When the War Began hit silver screens all over the country and has since become the highest grossing Aussie film of the year. Perhaps, um, by default.
Until now? Last night I saw a special preview of The Loved Ones, directed by Sean Byrne, a horror film that has been aptly described as Pretty in Pink meets Wolf Creek. And it wasn't--OMG!--a book first. Is that even allowed these days?
After a car accident that kills his father, Brent can't help feeling that his mother blames him for the crash. He escapes into a world of marijuana and heavy metal, one that his girlfriend Holly hopes to pull him from. After refusing Lola's invitation to the school dance, the timid girl who wears pink and obsesses over finding her prince, Brent is drawn from one nightmare into one that is far, far worse.
The Loved Ones is funny, racy and stuffed full of torture porn. I adore horror films but I'm very squeamish and spent much of the middle third hiding behind my coat thinking make it stop make it stop make it stop. But gosh it was entertaining! Extremely creative violence. But it's more than just the violence. The Loved Ones has a fantastic storyline, and where this film shines is its ending. Brilliant. Various story threads come together for a denouement that really packs a punch. Combined with a talented cast and shots of the arid Victorian countryside (my home state, yay!) this is unmissable watching for fans of horror, teenage and otherwise.
Last night's special screening included a QnA with the director and the audience showed their appreciation for the film with a rousing round of applause as the credits rolled. The Loved Ones releases nationally on November 4, and is going to give Tomorrow When the War Began a run for its money.