The Loved Ones - Pretty In Blood
Director: Sean Byrne
I still remember when I've first seen "The Loved Ones" in 2010. I didn't know much about it, expected it to be some mindless horror-comedy. To my surprise, the debut feature of Australian filmmaker Sean Byrne turned out to be one of the most demented movies I've ever seen, a wild and ravishing piece of indie brilliance, following a super-crazy teenage girl who seeks insane revenge on a classmate who turned down her invitation to the prom.
Since then, I've seen it many, many times and believe me when I say that it never failed to entertain me AND to shock the shit out of me at the very same time. The movie starts out rather calm, plods along at a slow but intriguing and non-boring pace, before it suddenly explodes, gets wilder and wilder with every single minute, until it finally ends with a massive bang. Yes, this is the kind of pacing that could be described as 'almost perfect', thanks to Byrne's flawless direction and the fabulous screenplay.
The acting is amazing and absolutely everyone delivers an award-worth performance, most notably Robin McLeavy ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") as batshit insane teenager, John Brumpton ("Storm Warning") as her, erm, batshit insane father, Xavier Samuel ("Frankenstein 2015") as tortured teenager, Richard Wilson ("The Proposition") as shy simpleton and Jessica McNamee ("The Vow") as uber-hot headbanger chick.
The soundtrack is excellent (fantastic use of Little River Band's golden oldie "Lonesome Loser", outrageously funny use of Kasey Chambers' "Not Pretty Enough" + many cool metal / alternative rock tracks...), the camera work is fantastic, and it's packed to the brim with quote-worthy lines like "Bring the hammer, Daddy!", "Is it finger... lickin'... good??", "We can't hear yoouuu!!"
or "I'm gonna go to your house now and stab your mummy just like you did my Daddy. Then I'm gonna go find Holly and stab her in the heart just like you did to me."
However, the best thing about "The Loved Ones" is of course all the violence. Knives in feet, Daddy throwing salt on big fork-carved wounds in a boy's chest, and power drill scenes that are so nasty even Lucio Fulci would gasp. Plus: all the shit that's going on down in the pit... genius, simply genius.
An absolutely outstanding and adorable masterpiece that will forever be one of my favorite horror movies of all time!
(The original review from Summer 2010 sucked. I completely rewrote it just a few hours ago.)