In the month of October, it is quite rare for me to watch anything but horror movies, and I’m sure you’ve noticed that with my slew of horror reviews. As I’ve said before, as much as I love the genre, it’s hard for me to get excited about scary movi
es cause the majority of them are disappointing or only “so-so” to me. I’m happy to report that a movie that I’ve been looking at for a while did not disappoint!
I have been looking at The Loved Ones for about a month now. Every time I go to the Redbox, I see the cover, which is an actress in a pink dress and pink crown holding a drill, and I try to convince myself to watch it. It’s an older movie that debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009. From there, it only played in film festivals until the following year. In my opinion, it was well worth the wait.
While watching a preview for this movie, I saw someone (didn’t catch the critics name) describe this movie as “Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Pretty in Pink.” While an awesome description, I think “Misery meets Pretty in Pink” is a more accurate. The movie begins with Brent (Xavier Samuel) and his father driving down the road when suddenly Brent notices a pale figure in the road and swerves to avoid hitting it. POSSIBLE SPOILER he ends up wrapping the car around a tree and killing his father.
Fast-forward 6 months later and it’s the end of the school year. The school is putting on a dance and Lola (Robin McLeavy) asks Brent to the dance. He politely turns her down because he is already going with his girlfriend, Holly (Victoria Thaine). Big mistake.
Brent is fairly troubled after the trauma of the accident, and so is his mother, Carla (Suzi Dougherty). She is so traumatized by the loss of her husband that she does not like the idea of her son riding in a car with another teenaged driver to go to the dance. Brent goes to blow off some steam when someone sneaks up on him and drugs him.
SUPRISE! It’s Lola and her deranged father (John Brumpton). If Brent won’t go to the dance with Lola, she’s going to bring the dance to him… while he’s tied up in her basement.
Lola is a dead ringer for Annie Wilkes, Kathy Bates’ character in Misery. She’s obsessed, delusional, and violent and won’t take no for an answer, but Lola has what Annie Wilkes lacked: a partner in crime. Daddy is just as messed up and violent. In fact, when Brent does not play by Lola’s rules, she cries for Daddy who happily obliges with a hammer (most of the time).
What I really enjoyed about the film was that though it was violent, it wasn’t necessarily gory. There were definitely parts that even made me cringe, but it was much in the same way that Misery did. Lola is definitely not a girl I would want to make angry. The movie, as a whole, was tense, suspenseful and entertaining. If you liked Misery, you’ll enjoy The Loved Ones.