When I saw this floating around today I was at first a little surprised. I swore I'd seen a trailer for this very same movie years ago. And after closer examination, I was correct.
"The Loved Ones" many not have hit theaters around here yet, but it was actually a fan favorite at the Toronto International Film Festival back in 2010. Then, the film won the Midnight Madness Award, an fan-voted award given to the most well-received genre piece submitted for that category. These are mostly smaller-budget action and horror films trying to get their first bit of publicity. The award is already one of the most popular and respected in the event, and the midnight crowds sell out these theaters in minutes. The most recent winner of this prize was "The Raid: Redemption", an Indonesian action picture that just recently started making its rounds here in the states. I've yet to see it, but Nathan Hinds has and speaks very highly of it.
Anyway, this previous winner is now trying to get its campaign moving and is pushing for more stateside attention as well. And you can personally bring this film to your own town.
For those of you unfamiliar with the film, it's Australian made and written/directed by Sean Byrne. The story centers around a high school girl and her obsessive crush on a fellow student - and more importantly, what happens after he turns her down when she asks him to the upcoming school dance. If you haven't watched the trailer yet, do so below. But the wording embedded within actually hits it right on the head: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Sixteen Candles". As many critics who attended the Toronto International Film Festival back in 2010 have already seen the film, it's collected extremely positive reviews so far (currently 96% on Rotten Tomatoes).
I haven't yet seen the film of course, but from everything I've seen and read, what's great about this film is it doesn't pull any punches. It's twisted and brutal and isn't afraid to push the limits. Even that said though, you can't just have a gratuitous horror fest and expect critics to fall in love with it. The writing is still very good and it does its best to separate itself from an overly-saturated market.
So, as I stated at the beginning, how can you bring this film to your town? Right now, screenings are being finalized in the cities of New York, Austin, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco - no big shockers there, I know. If you don't live near one of those cities though, you can go to Tugg and request your own screening. You can read how it all works on the site, but basically, if you can get enough people in your area to request the film, they'll bring it to your theater. The process seems easy enough, it's just about getting enough interest.
If you get the chance and you're into the genre (I caution some because I expect it will be a little graphic for some), I'd recommend checking this one out for sure. You don't roll into a festival like TIFF and win an audience award without being worthy of such.
So go vote, and help bring this horror/thriller to a few more places around here. It deserves its chance to be seen!