In Sean Byrne’s Australian darkly comedic horror flick The Loved Ones, we see what kind of hell gets unleashed when a “Daddy’s Girl” named Lola doesn’t get her way after she asks her fellow schoolmate Brent to the prom and he declines.
When Lola has Daddy (John Brampton) capture Brent for her own “special dance”, it’s up to Holly (Victoria Thaine) – Brent’s girlfriend – to get to the bottom of things and rescue her boyfriend before Lola and her power drill go too far.
Over the weekend The Loved Ones finally hit limited US theaters courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Tugg, which allows fans to vote for screenings of the flick in their respective cities. In honor of the recent release, Dread Central had the chance to catch up with Thaine briefly to talk about her experiences working on The Loved Ones, the film’s long journey Stateside, the potential for more dastardly fun with Lola and Daddy, as well as more on her future projects.
Dread Central: What were your first impressions of this story when you initially read the script for The Loved Ones?
Victoria Thaine: I honestly didn’t know what to think (laughs). It’s really hard sometimes to read a script and get a feel for it, especially with The Loved Ones because there was a lot of screaming and stuff so it’s hard to get a sense of the rhythm. I really had no idea what the final film would look like until I saw Sean’s short film. That clinched the deal for me; I saw how he approached the story and how it wasn’t like a lot of horror films out there, which caught my interest. I thought if someone like him was behind The Loved Ones, it could be great. And I was right!
Dread Central: Tell us about Holly and how she fits into this world.
Victoria Thaine: Well, Holly is Brent’s girlfriend, and she is the all-around nice girl that has a maturity about her. She’s very active about saving Brent from Lola, which I think is great; most times the girlfriend just sits around and waits, but not Holly. She does something about what’s happening, and she’s not afraid to take on Lola to get her man back either.
I really liked Holly because she wasn’t the typical popular girl characters you usually see in these movies; she was actually nice and had character development as well, which was all due to Sean. He really knew how integral her character would be to this story so he focused on that a lot. I think Sean has a natural gift for these kinds of stories; he’s got this amazing visual style, and all the characters and different horror elements are really well drawn so you actually care about the movie and what’s happening onscreen.
Dread Central: The Loved Ones has had quite the journey before getting its Stateside release; how has this process been for you as a whole? Any thoughts on the Tugg initiative Paramount is using for the film’s US release?
Victoria Thaine: It has been a few years, hasn’t it? (laughs) But the entire thing has been amazing. When the film played at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, it had such a great response from the fans, and just seeing how warmly the film was received was pretty amazing. I guess that’s why we were all a bit disappointed that it didn’t pick up distribution immediately, but I think that was more about the financial climate than anything.
I think Tugg is a pretty clever way to screen movies with your friends, and it definitely lends itself well to a movie like The Loved Ones. The business model for the industry is continually changing, which means so is the theatrical model. It’s exciting, and I hope fans find our movie and really enjoy it.
Dread Central: Do you think there are any future plans to revisit these characters and the world of The Loved Ones anytime soon?
Victoria Thaine: Well, I haven’t heard anything recent from Sean about it, but I do know that at one point he was quite interested in doing a prequel rather than a sequel because he created quite a detailed backstory for both Lola and Lola’s father so I do think that if we do ever see anything more, it would be a prequel not a sequel.
Dread Central: And what are you working on now?
Victoria Thaine: I’m also a writer so right now I am working on a short film that I am shooting next month. It’s called The Kingdom of Doug, and it follows a cult on the day they decide to commit mass suicide so it has some horror elements to it. It’s set in an ice skating rink, too, which is kind of fun and weird; we are crowd-funding at the moment, and I’m hoping we get to start shooting at the end of next month. In an ideal world, it would hopefully get in to Sundance next year because I’d love to experience that.
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