Director: Sean Byrne
Stars: Robin McLeavy, Xavier Samuel, John Brumpton, Richard Wilson, Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee, Andrew S. Gilbert
Release date: June 1

It’s been a long road to American multiplexes for the Australian horror movie The Loved Ones. Made way back in 2009, writer/director Sean Byrne’s high school freak-show first premiered in various film festivals to widespread acclaim from genre critics, who’ve all been talking the film up for the last three years. And for good reason. We’ve seen The Loved Ones, and trust us: The hype is real.

Combining playful Grand Guignol lunacy, the wackiness of John Waters movies, and the teen angst of John Hughes flicks, The Loved Ones ricochets back and forth from a viciously horrific film to a witty, humorous one, showing what happens when a high school outcast (a stellar Robin McLeavy, who crafts an iconic horror villain here) kidnaps the boy of her dreams on prom night and subjects him to all kinds of mental and physical tortures in her kitchen, alongside her demented pops.

As they say, horror fans, good things come to those who wait, as well as those who didn’t even know The Loved Ones existed before reading this.