I truly haven't watched many Australian films.
I've watched even less Australian horror films. But the one that has stuck with me the most has been The Loved Ones (2009).
What's happening in this movie is the main character Brent--whose name is really only briefly heard by the way--makes the mistake of (politely) turning down a quiet girl named Lola to the school dance. Apparently this sort of rejection isn't new to Lola, which is unveiled to Brent after a series of events take place allowing him to realize just how crazy quiet ole Lola--and her papa--really are.
It is pretty gory. I'm used to gory; I invite gory. But the torture scenes still got to me. However, it was well-made and not some B-movie made just for the torture scenes. There was emotion involved. There was character development. And so, so much more. There are definitely parts were I cringed and then I cringed even harder. There were parts where I gasped, and parts I didn't even see coming. I love me some twists and turns!
The transformation that we see in Lola--from meek, shy school girl into this insane, crazed "Princess" takes the cake, and is also extremely well-acted. Brent also goes from considering whether or not he wants to keep on living to fighting for his life. What a turn of events.
Lola Stone was such an interesting character, though. She's both innocent and evil at the same time. For instance, you get to see her handmade scrapbook, and her bright pink dress and glittery makeup that radiates how girly she is. But then there is a scene where she twists off the top of a bottle of salt and throws it onto a wound of Brent's--pure nastiness.
There's also the soundtrack that added to the atmosphere of the movie. There were not many songs included, but the ones that were had a great effect. The song "Not Pretty Enough" by Kasey Chambers is bittersweet. Innocent sounding...but creepy considering what's going on in the environment. I heard it later on after watching the film and it gave me absolute chills. It's also an easy song to get stuck in your head so...be prepared for that.
One scene that really stuck out to me is where they are all sitting down for supper. It is SO MUCH like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I love that though! Way to go, director Sean Byrne for putting that subconsciously in our heads.
The only real thing I disliked about this movie was the ending.
It just kind of...floated off on its merry way. I didn't want a typical cliche kind of ending, either, but something stable would have been nice.
The Loved Ones seems like an underrated movie to me. I have watched it several times now since it came out and it still gives me goosebumps. Because of that, you should definitely check it out!