The Loved Ones is one of those films that has been on the top of everyone's "please release" list. Shot in 2009, this Australian horror flick follows a young woman named Lola who doesn't handle rejection very well. When Brent turns her down for prom, Lola kidnaps Brent and takes him home to daddy - who then helps his little girl torture the kid. The film finally is getting some Stateside distribution. It's a slow roll-out, but a steady one, with midnight screenings June 1st in select cities.
We chatted with the charming Victoria Thaine, who plays Holly in the film. Holly is Brent's girlfriend, and Victoria promises she's not sitting at home waiting for her date to show up.
Tell me about your character, Holly.
Holly is Brent's girlfriend. She is the all-around nice girl. She is liked by everyone, popular at school. But I was attracted to playing her because she wasn't just a cardboard cutout girlfriend character. She has a maturity about her. In the film, you see her being quite active about saving Brent from his... torturous situation. The premise is that Brent is taking Holly to the prom, and Lola asks brent to the prom. He rejects her, and it is the catalyst for the events that follow. Often in these films, the girlfriend sits and waits at home. But I was drawn to Holly because she has quite a bit of spunk. She goes after Lola to rescue her man.
The Loved Ones was shot in 2009, but is just getting a release now. Is that weird for you?
Well it had a cinema release in Australia about a year and a half ago, and it had quite a good DVD life here. When the film played at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, it had such a great response, and it was a bit disappointing that it didn't pick up distribution. I think that was, at least partly, due to the financial climate at that time. It's really exciting that, even though it has been a couple of years since it was first shown, it's great that it is finally getting the audience it deserves.
I'm not a self-proclaimed fan of horror films. I've not seen a lot of them, so I was really curious to see how the film would come out. It's a really accomplished film and Sean [Byrne, the writer / director] has a natural gift for these kinds of stories. He's got this amazing visual style and all these elements that you want in a good horror film - good scares, good characters - they are all there. All the characters are really well drawn. They are well rounded and hopefully when you watch, you actually care about what happens to them.
What sets The Loved Ones apart from other prom-set horror movies?
I'm taking a bit of a punt here because I haven't seen a lot of them. I would suggest it is the relationship between Lola and her father. Their dynamic really works in the film and is really quite unique. Lola has her own special set of "talents" in the torture department.
Yeah, Lola's dad is actually helping her with the torture, isn't he? That's something you don't see frequently in a horror film.
Right. And you discover that this is something they have done before. Lola has a scrapbook in which she has documented the previous lovers who have rejected her.
Is there any talk of a sequel?
I haven't spoken to Sean about this recently, but I know that, rather than a sequel, he was quite interested in doing a prequel. He created quite a detailed backstory for Lola and Lola's father. He had done a lot of work documenting what led these characters to that point. So I do think, if anything, we would see a prequel.
Do you have anything coming up?
I'm a writer as well, so I am working on a short film that I am shooting next month. It is sort of horrific in its own way. It's called "The Kingdom of Doug" and it's about a cult on the day they mass suicide, set in an ice skating rink. We are crowd-funding at the moment, and hoping to start shooting at the end of next month. In an ideal world, my dream is that it would get in to Sundance next year.
Would you ever consider doing another horror movie? I know you said you weren't really into them, but did this experience change your mind at all?
Absolutely. When I went to the Toronto Film Festival, it was so refreshing to meet the fan base there. The horror fans don't have a bone of pretension in them. It was really lovely to be in an audience of people who were just there ready to participate. They clapped and they screamed and it was just a lot of fun. I actually said at the time that I would be happy to be in horror films the rest of my life. If anyone out there is reading FEARnet and would like to have me in a horror film, I'm ready!
For screening locations, ticket sales, and to find out how to get The Loved Ones in your town, visit Tugg.com