Lola’s father never denied her a single privilege in her entire life. Ever since she was a little princess, her every wish was granted with a snap of her daddy’s fingers. So, when high school heart throb Brent declined her prom date proposal, Lola decided that she wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer.
The Loved Ones shed new light on the old tired tale of kidnapping and torture. Everything’s been said and done, but Sean Byrne added a unique twist to the story by choosing a demented, sociopathic, wannabe prom queen as the killer. His clever take on spoiled offspring provided a demented departure from the norm that so many horror fans have grown accustomed to.
Robin McLeavy was terrifying and awe-inspiring as Lola, the girl who always got what she wanted. Her performance gave audiences a new female to fear, in a genre that’s overrun with male predators. Together, her and Xavier Samuel manifested an uneasy atmosphere that called for attention.
Perhaps what was even more disturbing than the torture scenes between Lola and Brent, was the affiliation between Lola and her perverted father. Awkward situations like Lola and her father dancing, her dad watching her undress, and her father’s jealousy over Lola’s lusting after Brent, implied that there was more to this father-daughter relationship than the average family. At times, their uncomfortable kinship was even more disturbing than Lola’s maniacal misdoings toward Brent.
Although all of the factors previously mentioned contributed to create one chilling film, what really made the movie stand out was the direction. Sean Byrne proved himself not only as a writer, but a breathtaking director, full of potential. Not only did he design a disturbing, gut-wrenching torture flick, but he made an enchanting piece of cinema as well. Great depictions of serene imagery were scattered throughout this sadistic film, proving that horror films can be comely. Certain scenes, like a when Lola was staggering through a field, bloody and wielding a knife, or even when Brent was walking to his favorite hiding spot, were permeated with loveliness, which enriched the celluloid, and made the few static moments more memorable. Byrne has the rare gift of balancing terror with beauty. I can’t wait to see what he brings to the screen next.