Friday, October 14, 2016

31 Days of Halloween 2016: The Loved Ones

2009, Sean Byrne (The Devil's Candy) -- download

From the get go, we said, "no torture porn." Yes, we are beating a dead horse (but not torturing him!) but I have come to realize its how the creator takes the torturish path that helps decide whether its is porn or not. At the heart of it, if the movie revels in the pain the victims are feeling, that we are as much rooting for the villain as we are "enjoying" the scenes of torture, then it fits into the sub-genre we enjoy.

But then you see something like The Love Ones where the core of the movie is all about torture, and yet it doesn't quickly fall into that categorization. Unless you are one sick fuck, I don't expect you will be rooting for Lola Stone and her twisted daddy. They are depraved people.

Brent is a high school kid who lost his dad not long ago. He's a tortured kid, who tests the limits of his own strength & endurance, and drags razors across his arm. He believes his mother blames him for his father's death. It's school dance season and he politely turns down Lola. Big mistake. Her dad drugs Brent, kills his dog and drags Brent back to their place so Lola can have her own dance night. With injected bleach and amateur trepanation.

The movie alternates between the scenes of Lola and her "family", the anguish everyone is feeling at Brent's disappearance, Brent's best friends rather messed up date to the dance and the very personal trials of the cop trying to find Brent. The rather lovely and brilliant focus of this movie is not (just) on the torture of Brent, which is horrific and graphic, but all the loved ones affected by what this family is doing, and has done numerous times in the past.

Brent is a kid who questions if he deserves to live, after his driving accident killed his father. This experience answers the question for him, and damn does he ever want to live. His response takes all the energy that has built up inside him over the past six months and explodes it outward against the Stones. Yes, he wants to live. YES !

And he does.