When a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his family in jeopardy.
Brandon Gerald Fuller,
Lauren Ashley Carter
A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
In order to avoid a ghostly figure in the road, high school senior Brent Mitchell wraps his car around a tree, killing his father. Constantly confronted by his mother's emotional collapse after the accident, Brent escapes into a marijuana fueled world of loud metal music to block the pain and guilt. Dejected and out of sorts, he has a shot at happiness with his girlfriend Holly, a grounded, caring girl with drop dead good looks, a dream date for the high school prom. But his plans are thwarted by a disturbing series of events that take place under a mirrored disco ball, involving pink satin, glitter, syringes, nails, power drills and a secret admirer. Brent has become the prom king at a macabre, sadistic event where he is the entertainment. Written by
It's no surprise that Sean Byrne's relentlessly blood-soaked The Loved Ones won the Cadillac People's Choice Award at TIFF's midnight screening. The young Australian writer/director has since been hard-pressed for free time as many in Hollywood have been vying for his attention.
Since the film's premiere in Toronto, Byrne has been making frequent trips to LA and has been invited to speak with top execs. On this particular trip, Byrne's schedule has been tightly booked from morning until night on every single day thus far, including weekends.
For those who haven't seen The Loved Ones, it is an indie-horror treat. Let's just say, if Carrie from "Carrie" and Jigsaw from "Saw" "wanted to play a game," this film would be the perfect compromise between their approaches. What results is an anti-John-Hughes film that offers a cynical, frightening re-imagining of a high-school prom. The Loved Ones
The film benefits from a cast which is in full-tune with its director. And unlike many horror films today, Byrne's even has something to say. The film's bizarre title provokes us to think about the consequences of unrequited love and, more importantly, the real victims. Of course life would be easier if anyone we fell in love with immediately felt the same way. But in The Loved Ones, love is played as more of a cruel game for all characters.
It may be a bit unusual for American moviegoers to see a horror film carried by actors who speak with Australian accents. Although Peter Jackson was able to earn instant cult-status with his blood-splasher Dead Alive through similar New Zealand accents. Jackson and Byrne already share some in common.
Like Jackson, Byrne seems to be fascinated with shock-horror, fantasy, and even the supernatural. There is also an indie feel to Byrne's work reminiscent of Jackson's earlier low-budget films. So long as the young and talented Byrne is making movies, he just might have to get used to spending more time in Hollywood than at home.
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