DVD Review: The Loved Ones: Prom Night Gone Wrong

Prom night is a special time for a girl. The dress must be perfect, her date handsome and her torture instruments sharp and ridged. Yes, the prom is magical.

“The Loved Ones” is a teen-romance movie turned into “Friday the 13th” if Jason Voorhees was a 16-year-old girl with an obsessive psychotic father who would do anything to make his daughter happy, anything.

Sean Byrne, in his directorial debut, brings the awkwardness of the prom and the viciousness of torture together through a medley of scenes that make you cringe and squint your eyes while salivating at the anticipation of what will happen next.

The story focuses on Brent Mitchell (Xavier Samuel) who is tormented by the tragic death of his father, which he caused. In spite of that, Brent and his girlfriend Holly (Victoria Thaine) plan to attend their prom. Brent is also approached by the awkward Lola Stone (Robin McLeavy), who also asks him to prom. He kindly declines her offer then proceeds to continue with his life. But Lola doesn’t take kindly to the disinterest. Her father, “Daddy” Stone (John Brumpton) kidnaps Brent. The two Stones are going to throw a prom of their own.

The film is violent, gruesome and still has a hint of humor. Amid all the violence and horror taking place with Brent and Lola, Brent’s best friend Jamie (Richard Wilson) enjoys his own unconventional prom with his date Mia (Jessica McNamee). The two drive around, get drunk and smoke pot which leads to a special prom experience for the two.

Over-the-top scenes aim to show the true nature of Lola’s insanity. The remote stare, violent outbursts and psychotic actions hint at her being an immature spoiled child, one who won’t take no for an answer.
A lack of mainstream actors to hog the spotlight the film gives full attention to the characters, some awkward, others addicted and others distant and rebellious.

The high school experience is transformed here through the subtext of horror. Insanity of the unstable teenage mind and social misplacement are all on display in a macabre twist that delivers.

This film proves that prom night can be torture.

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