31 Days of Horror - The Loved Ones (2009)

Brent (Xavier Samuel) is a teenager going through a lot of stuff. He's still processing the death of his father, he feels like his mother blames him for his father's death, and he's having trouble communicating with his understanding girlfriend Holly (Victoria Thaine). Plus, Lola (Robin McLeavy) just asked him to the dance and she won't take no for an answer. Because she and her father (John Brumpton) are psychotic torture artists.

This movie has everything: torture, table turning, loss of bodily control, blood, incest, monsters, and good old-fashioned teenage angst. It's all here. Australian horror was non-existent to me a few days ago, but I really feel like I must seek some more out now, because GOD DAMN. This was one competent horror film.

The premise is brilliant, but it was taken to dizzying levels. Robin McLeavy in particular is a treat as she comically sings along to a Taylor-Swift-like pop hit about unrequited love in true teen drama fashion one moment, and then threatens to have her father mutilate Brent if he doesn't obey her like she's fucking Patrick Bateman the next.

The film also includes a silly sideplot involving Brent's best friend Jamie and his night at the prom with badass DGAF goth girl Mia that sounds out of place, but is an effective palette cleanser that almost seems like an homage to the goofy cop scenes in The Last House on the Left. The sideplot also connects in an unexpected, tragic way to the main plot that helps to explain why one character may be the way they are.

Lots of squirming and "HOLY SHIT"ing and twists in this teen drama gorefest. This film isn't mere torture porn -- it's torture porn if torture porn went to high school and became angry and angsty. You will remember Lola and the lengths she goes to get her men.

9/10 stars.