The Loved Ones  (2009)

Octoblur 2015 - #03: The Loved Ones (2009)

 
By dorrk, October 4th 2015
Octoblur: If the quality doesn't scare you the quantity will.

When I started preparing for my Octoblur watchlist last year, one of the movies that seemed to be on all of "The Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen" lists that I came across was Sean Byrne's 2009 The Loved Ones. It never worked its way into last year's schedule — the poster art stoked my concern that it might be a prolonged exercise in extreme camp — but after even more recommendations leading up to this month, I finally just put it on and braced myself. While it does, briefly, get a little carried away with "noisy crazy," it earns it, and is overall a terrific, gory thriller that turns on a dime from perversely fun to horrifying with considerable skill.

A sort of "teen rom com-meets-Texas Chainsaw Massacre," The Loved Ones is, reductively, about two teen boys and their dates for an end-of-year school dance in a small Australian community that seems to be a magnet for tragedy. That's a purposefully mealy-mouthed plot description, but one of the great pleasures of The Loved Ones is how deceptively non-formulaic it seems; there's a real, organic "what would happen next" feel to the way things unfold from one gruesome revelation to the next. While The Loved Ones veers close to "torture porn" at a few points, it retains both an appealing comic sensibility and never loses sight of the humanity of its characters, which is an important balance.

The Loved Ones also hints at something deeper — there's an undercurrent of genuine sadness similar to that in The Descent — but Byrne keeps it suppressed underneath a broad and colorful surface. There are a few other things in The Loved Ones that are better off not thought about too deeply after it's over, because it's a great success in its immediate style and execution without as firm a grasp on the comprehensive picture. Byrne, who elicits fine performances from a cast that is previously unknown to me, is definitely a filmmaker to keep on the radar, and finally has a follow-up feature being released this fall.

The Loved Ones Stills Gallery

There may be spoilers in these stills. Don't look if you don't want spoilers.

Great lesser-known horror movies

Fun, weird & dark corners worth exploring.
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

Demon Seed (1977)

Demon Seed (1977)

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

The Funhouse (1981)

The Funhouse (1981)

The Guest (2014)

The Guest (2014)

The House Of The Devil (2009)

The House Of The Devil (2009)

Housebound (2014)

Housebound (2014)

The Johnsons (1992)

The Johnsons (1992)

Kill List (2011)

Kill List (2011)

Little Otik (2001)

Little Otik (2001)

Motel Hell (1980)

Motel Hell (1980)

Orphan (2009)

Orphan (2009)

Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Spider Baby... (1968)

Spider Baby... (1968)

Starry Eyes (2014)

Starry Eyes (2014)

The Stepfather (1987)

The Stepfather (1987)

Suicide Club (2001)

Suicide Club (2001)

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

Dorrk's Top 20 horror movies

The boring list of horror essentials. If you haven't seen these yet, what are you doing?
The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (1973)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980)

Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975)

The Thing (1982)

The Thing (1982)

The Fly (1986)

The Fly (1986)

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960)

Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (1982)

Alien (1979)

Alien (1979)

The Omen (1976)

The Omen (1976)

Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Halloween (1978)

Halloween (1978)

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein (1931)

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

Suicide Club (2001)

Suicide Club (2001)

Repulsion (1965)

Repulsion (1965)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Trailer for the Loved Ones (2009)

Beware: Galleries may contain spoilers.
Loved-Ones-2009-00-01-09
Loved-Ones-2009-00-02-10
Loved-Ones-2009-00-02-32
Loved-Ones-2009-00-04-06
Loved-Ones-2009-00-04-21
Loved-Ones-2009-00-04-31
Loved-Ones-2009-00-05-09
Loved-Ones-2009-00-06-30
Loved-Ones-2009-00-07-23
Loved-Ones-2009-00-07-42
Loved-Ones-2009-00-08-31
Loved-Ones-2009-00-11-46
Loved-Ones-2009-00-12-14
Loved-Ones-2009-00-12-26
Loved-Ones-2009-00-12-47
Loved-Ones-2009-00-12-56
Loved-Ones-2009-00-13-37
Loved-Ones-2009-00-14-06
Loved-Ones-2009-00-15-29
Loved-Ones-2009-00-15-42
Loved-Ones-2009-00-19-04
Loved-Ones-2009-00-19-34
Loved-Ones-2009-00-19-43
Loved-Ones-2009-00-20-18
Loved-Ones-2009-00-21-00
Loved-Ones-2009-00-21-46
Loved-Ones-2009-00-22-08
Loved-Ones-2009-00-22-18
Loved-Ones-2009-00-22-24
Loved-Ones-2009-00-22-29
Loved-Ones-2009-00-23-01
Loved-Ones-2009-00-23-26
Loved-Ones-2009-00-23-51
Loved-Ones-2009-00-24-24
Loved-Ones-2009-00-24-29
Loved-Ones-2009-00-25-02
Loved-Ones-2009-00-25-11
Loved-Ones-2009-00-25-50
Loved-Ones-2009-00-26-33
Loved-Ones-2009-00-26-46
Loved-Ones-2009-00-26-51
Loved-Ones-2009-00-27-19
Loved-Ones-2009-00-27-46
Loved-Ones-2009-00-28-07
Loved-Ones-2009-00-29-48
Loved-Ones-2009-00-30-06
Loved-Ones-2009-00-30-28
Loved-Ones-2009-00-32-30
Loved-Ones-2009-00-32-50
Loved-Ones-2009-00-33-37
Loved-Ones-2009-00-34-31
Loved-Ones-2009-00-36-45
Loved-Ones-2009-00-37-33
Loved-Ones-2009-00-38-46
Loved-Ones-2009-00-38-52
Loved-Ones-2009-00-39-45
Loved-Ones-2009-00-40-58
Loved-Ones-2009-00-41-58
Loved-Ones-2009-00-42-09
Loved-Ones-2009-00-42-36
Loved-Ones-2009-00-42-58
Loved-Ones-2009-00-43-55
Loved-Ones-2009-00-44-25
Loved-Ones-2009-00-44-45
Loved-Ones-2009-00-45-47
Loved-Ones-2009-00-46-44
Loved-Ones-2009-00-47-02
Loved-Ones-2009-00-47-26
Loved-Ones-2009-00-47-45
Loved-Ones-2009-00-48-05
Loved-Ones-2009-00-48-27
Loved-Ones-2009-00-49-15
Loved-Ones-2009-00-49-48
Loved-Ones-2009-00-50-15
Loved-Ones-2009-00-50-55
Loved-Ones-2009-00-51-41
Loved-Ones-2009-00-52-16
Loved-Ones-2009-00-52-19
Loved-Ones-2009-00-52-23
Loved-Ones-2009-00-54-01
Loved-Ones-2009-00-55-12
Loved-Ones-2009-00-55-39
Loved-Ones-2009-00-56-26
Loved-Ones-2009-00-56-38
Loved-Ones-2009-00-56-49
Loved-Ones-2009-00-57-16
Loved-Ones-2009-00-57-48
Loved-Ones-2009-00-58-42
Loved-Ones-2009-01-00-41
Loved-Ones-2009-01-00-59
Loved-Ones-2009-01-01-14
Loved-Ones-2009-01-01-51
Loved-Ones-2009-01-01-56
Loved-Ones-2009-01-02-15
Loved-Ones-2009-01-03-16
Loved-Ones-2009-01-04-06
Loved-Ones-2009-01-05-23
Loved-Ones-2009-01-06-01
Loved-Ones-2009-01-06-19
Loved-Ones-2009-01-08-17
Loved-Ones-2009-01-08-38
Loved-Ones-2009-01-09-41
Loved-Ones-2009-01-09-52
Loved-Ones-2009-01-11-20
Loved-Ones-2009-01-11-40
Loved-Ones-2009-01-11-55
Loved-Ones-2009-01-13-02
Loved-Ones-2009-01-13-20
Loved-Ones-2009-01-14-07
Loved-Ones-2009-01-14-45
Loved-Ones-2009-01-15-14
Loved-Ones-2009-01-15-30
Loved-Ones-2009-01-16-04
Loved-Ones-2009-01-17-34
Loved-Ones-2009-01-23-59


PopGap
Wire Creative Web Site Management
Dorrk
Dorrk Dot com
Santa's Li'l Gimp
The Godfather

The Top 20 Movies of All-Time

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#2: The Godfather (1972)

#2: The Godfather (1972)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#3: West Side Story (1961)

#3: West Side Story (1961)

Dir: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
#4: Manhattan (1979)

#4: Manhattan (1979)

Dir: Woody Allen
#5: The Graduate (1967)

#5: The Graduate (1967)

Dir: Mike Nichols
#6: Tootsie (1982)

#6: Tootsie (1982)

Dir: Sydney Pollack
#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Dir: Irvin Kershner
#9: Star Wars (1977)

#9: Star Wars (1977)

Dir: George Lucas
#10: The Exorcist (1973)

#10: The Exorcist (1973)

Dir: William Friedkin
#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Dir: Peter Jackson
#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

Dir: Martin Scorsese
#13: Annie Hall (1977)

#13: Annie Hall (1977)

Dir: Woody Allen
#14: Vertigo (1958)

#14: Vertigo (1958)

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Dir: Steven Spielberg
#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Dir: Tobe Hooper
#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

Dir: Frank Capra
#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Dir: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
#20: Zodiac (2007)

#20: Zodiac (2007)

Dir: David Fincher