For pretty much as long as I can remember, I have lived in the past. My ears were always filled with the likes of Blondie and The Runaways and my DVD player was lucky if it saw a movie that was released anytime in the 21st Century. Don’t get me wrong, I tried the new stuff, I just didn’t like it as much as the old 1970s/80s stuff. This all changed however when I saw 2009’s The Loved Ones.
Written and directed by Sean Byrne, this Australian prom night horror packed a surprisingly bigger punch than I think anyone quite realised it would- including myself…I cannot lie, I only agreed to watch it when Luke aka Slappy Squirrel suggested it because the main character looks suspiciously like a teenage Johnny Depp. Yes, yes, everyone swoon.
The story started like so many others and I almost heaved a long sigh at the banality of the opening scene where our main character, Brent Mitchell (Xavier Samuel), swerves his car to avoid a ghostly figure in the middle of the road and ends up writing off his car against a tree and killing his father whilst doing so. Like so many other typecast parents, Brent’s mother never quite forgives him and he turns to sex, drugs, booze and metal. His only saving grace and escape from his issues and self-loathing, is his beautiful girlfriend, Holly, whom he intends to take to the prom.
The similarities to She’s All That (or some other 90s chick flick) end there, and thankfully only take up about 5 minutes, when dear Brent gets kidnapped of the side of a mountain and wakes up tied to a chair in a dining room complete with mirror ball and prom banners. Queue incest, extreme gore, cannibalism and some bloody good acting.