'The Loved Ones' Critic Reviews
Transcends mere torture porn -- though there's plenty for the squeamish to squirm over here -- in its deftly controlled mix of empathy, grotesquerie and sardonic humor.
It's a terrifying masterpiece that turns high school drama into a literal dead zone.
Sean Byrne has established himself as one hell of a guy to watch with his first feature film, delivering something bright, brand new and deeply felt.
Film School Rejects
The most severe violence in the film is tempered by moments of effective dark humor.
Mark H. Harris
The Loved Ones is a breath of fresh air for the so-called "torture porn" sub-genre of horror movies.
The Loved Ones has a lot to offer in wit, style and entertainment and I can highly recommend it.
We Got This Covered
There is clearly a lot of ambition to The Loved Ones and the near-brilliant leading performances help make the film a unique and terrifying experience.
Staci Layne Wilson
It's got heart, gore, suspense, and an unusual family-style drama you won't likely forget... and Lola is a terrific character: pretty scary in pink!
Jeffrey M. Anderson
The Loved Ones constantly moves in unexpected directions.
Moviegoers with an aversion to violence will stay away, but genre buffs with a taste for the extreme should ensure healthy ticket sales.
There's enough genuine tension and imagination to provide some shocks and visceral chills.
Horror fans are going to love this, but those who recognize a filmmaking skill to go along with the gore may appreciate it even more.
Sean Byrne endows his rote slasher material with the kind of blackly comic wit and levity that virtually guarantee its entry into the contemporary midnight-movie canon.
Those with a fondness for cinematic evildoing might find themselves richly entertained by this macabre feature, which somehow manages the finer points of grief and festering wounds with exceptional directorial skill.
Edible roadkill, Frontal lobotomies, teenage psychopaths and Kasey Chambers music....Precisely what every school dance should feature, right? A surprising, fast, stylised Aussie torture porn.
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
It's a well made film. One for the gore fans.
Herald Sun (Australia)
Arguably the only flaw to The Loved Ones' gore-and-guffaws approach is that Byrne does not quite have enough strong material to fill a noticeably slender 80-minute running time.
The Age (Australia)
A blood-spattered, tongue-in-cheek horror comedy that features plenty of low-rent gore, some extra-cheesy lines and some terrific performances.
Matt's Movie Reviews
Australian horror film The Loved Ones proves that it is the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
At the Movies (Australia)
The morbid jokes and the shocking moments of horror, all played straight by an excellent cast, plus some moments of grisly originality, combine in a film that's better than the average for this sort of admittedly dodgy exploitation piece.
Sean Byrne makes one hell (and I mean hell) of a feature film debut with The Loved Ones. It's slick, confident and wickedly funny. Lola is straight out of Sam Raimi's nightmares; a terrifying cross between Carrie and Rachel Berry from Glee.
Debut director Sean Byrne has carved out a flick to stand beside Brian De Palma's high school horror classic Carrie, such is the beauty and brutality of his execution. It's the best entry to the Aussie horror canon since Wolf Creek.
David Michael Brown
Empire Magazine Australasia
Growing pains have never been this excruciating. The Loved Ones is an instant horror classic.
The Loved Ones doesn't pull many punches, director Sean Byrne exercising an expert balance of tactical restraint and outright savagery.