Paramount will be releasing Australian horror film The Loved Ones in the US in June through its microbudget division, Insurge Pictures, it was announced at the SXSW festival over the weekend.

The film, which was written and directed by Sean Byrne, will be part of a campaign which will allow fans to sign up online to bring the movie to their local cinema.

Insurge has collaborated with collective action web platform Tugg which enables moviegoers to choose the films played at their local theatre by signing up at the film's website to book a screening. Once signed up, individuals will be informed when they can begin to organise their screening. Users are encouraged to spread the details of their particular screenings via social media.

"Those who have seen and heard about The Loved Ones have been clamouring for its theatrical release," said Insurge Pictures president Amy Powell in a statement. "This is a truly terrifying film that brings new meaning to the horrors of dating and we're excited to give fans the unprecedented opportunity to personalise their movie going experience."

The Loved Ones, which stars Xavier Samuel (A Few Best Men, Anonymous) and Robin McLeavy (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) was released in Australia by Madman in late-2010.

It posted a disappointing opening of just over $141,000 in its first weekend across 89 screens and went on to gross just $300,124 in total.

On a panel at the 2011 SPAA conference, the film's producer Mark Lazarus revealed that numerous pirated versions of the movie available online had initially meant trouble for the film's chances of securing theatrical distribution overseas.

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2 Comments

  1. A dreadful film that should be passed on without fanfare.

    After seeing a preview for the film I warned others not to see it and the few who didn’t heed the warning asked for their money back.

    Unfortunately this brings nothing new to the genre and desperately claws at a few gimmicks to “shock” the audience.

    This is a great example of what is wrong with the Australian film industry.

    Great horror is built on suspense, memorable characters, clever dialogue and the inevitable collective feeling of the audience that there’s no way out. I spent time during the viewing split between laughter and feeling awkward…

    Why are Australian writers, producers and actors under the mistaken impression that us audience members want to see vanity projects, tell-us-about-our-own culture narratives and cheap faux-“shockers”.

    I would love to see a tightly constructed horror/thriller that uses suspense and not “gross out the audience” awkwardness to engage me.

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