Nato And Remy’s Last Stand: “Torture Porn” Horror, What’s Wrong With Us?

Nato – The Loved Ones

Alright, I was a miserable downer last week when I did nothing but bash terrible found footage films, so this time I’m going to be all cheery and positive for you guys! First off is an Australian film, The Loved Ones, which I caught a few years ago that just got wider overseas releases, delivering “torture porn” type gross outs with the innocence of teenage love.

Prom is an awkward enough experience for most kids, so you can imagine the torment and terror of turning it into a horror film about a psychopathic secret-admirer. That’s exactly the scenario director Sean Byrne creates for The Loved Ones, depicting the capture and torture of a young high schooler named Brent (Xavier Samuel) by a love-struck Lola (Robin McLeavy) and her overly protective father.

First off, this film is a mind-invading and unsettling “torture porn” piece given the ages of those involved, also hinting at a disturbing relationship between Lola and her father. Not only do we get the morality test of watching a helpless victim be broken down both physically and emotionally in Brent, but debate the questionable motives already established as insane.

Actress Robin McLeavy doesn’t disappoint as the Jeffrey Dahmer-esque bi-polar jilted lover Lola, making for an unnerving villain. Showing no remorse for her actions and brutally torturing one thing she loves, Brent, I’ve never feared a high school crush more in my life. Between the usage of power tools and syringes full of…well, just believe me, it’s some sick stuff.

No matter how much you hated your prom experience, be thankful you didn’t attend Lola’s.

Remy – Frontier(s)

For my first choice, I’m going with the French extreme horror film, Frontier(s). I am fully aware it is just a mashup of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre plus Hostel, but what two better movies to pull from to mess with people’s heads?

Frontier(s) is about a group twenty-somethings, looking to leave Paris after an extremist right-wing candidate is elected President. As a result of the election, the city is in upheaval, which they take advantage of by robbing a bank, with one of their members getting shot in the process. They hole up in a little Inn in the Parisian countryside and, wouldn’t you know it, the inn is run by neo-Nazi-cannibals.

While it all may sound cliché and avoidable, you would be doing yourself a great injustice to miss this film. The performances are incredibly powerful (you are extremely scared of these Nazis from the first second you see them, and the scenes where you feel for the captives you REALLY feel for the captives). While I won’t undersell it, the gore and death scenes are EXTREME, being much scarier than most of the “torture porn” films it emulates. Yes, you will grimace. Yes, you will look away at times, but you will walk away from this movie affected. It has such a strong sense of darkness that it, at times, almost overwhelms the viewer.

Frontier(s) was a film I never intended to watch, because I felt like I had seen it already, and truth be told, I had. But the irony was, I had not seen it done this well, and I didn’t know it until I watched it.

Between this movie, Turistas, Borderlands, and Hostel, I am officially NEVER taking a vacation out of this country.

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