Welcome to Freaky Friday, our ongoing series that highlights our extensive, awesome collection of free horror movies on Tubi TV. Whether you like blockbuster sequels, moody foreign films, or gore-filled comedies, we’ve got the film for your tastes. This week, we’re wincing our way through the delightfully disturbing The Loved Ones, the extreme tale of teenage revenge and torture that will have you squirming in your seat even as you lean in to see what happens next. While it may be easy to throw this movie into the same category as Saw and Hostel, The Loved Ones is a cinema experience all its own, blending a light indie sensibility along the lines of Juno with truly visceral physical horror.
Lola (Robin McLeavy) is giving Brent (Xavier Samuel) a prom night he’ll never forget.
When he rejects an invitation to the school dance from social outcast Lola (Robin McLeavy), attractive-but-moody teen Brent (played by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse star Xavier Samuel) is drugged and kidnapped. He wakes up in Lola’s house, where she’s staged a special “date” for herself and Brent. While he desperately tries to make his escape, Brent is forced to play along with the abusive whims of the insane Lola and her creepy father. There’s no guarantee that Brent will make it out of their twisted little home prom with his skull intact, and let’s not even mention the surprise they’ve got waiting for him in the cellar.
Lola’s folks Bright Eyes (left) and Eric (rear center) join in on the mind games to make this night of horror a family affair.
While Xavier Samuel plays the likeable slacker to perfection, Robin McLeavy is the highlight of the movie. She is a (terrifying) revelation as Lola, a demented daddy’s girl with a love of pink who turns the normal horror trope of male domination on its head with her stomach turning (and more than a little kinky) antics. Let’s just say you’ll never look at power tools quite the same way again. Director Sean Byrne uses unexpected camera angles and composition to give a fresh take on the standard torture porn setup, and his use of a saturated, Wes Anderson-style color scheme lends a quirky, almost humorous quality to every scene. The Loved Ones is messed up and intense in all the best ways, so grab some popcorn and pull up a chair (just make sure you’re not strapped to it).
For more great horror coverage, check out our friends at Dread Central: http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/34330/exclusive-interview-the-loved-ones-victoria-thaine-on-good-girls-and-more/