A BRITISH man has been found guilty of murdering his best friend in a sadistic attack reminiscent of scenes from Australian horror film The Loved Ones.
Gary George, 41, has been ordered to serve at least thirty years of a life sentence for the murder of Andrew Nall, 53, last August. Chester Crown Court found that George had tortured and mutilated Nall before ultimately leaving his friend’s body to be found on his bedroom floor.
Prosecutors claimed that George was “obsessed” with witchcraft and horror films, pinpointing 2009 Australian production The Loved Ones as one of George’s favourite films. The judge and jury were required to watch The Loved Ones as a part of the prosecution’s case against George, with suggestions that Nall’s murder was based on scenes from the film.
Judge Elgan Edwards said: “”This was a cruel and vicious attack. It was also a sadistic attack. I am satisfied that in behaving in the way you did, you were aping the conduct in a film of which you were obsessed, namely The Loved Ones.”
An autopsy revealed that Nall had been viciously beaten before being stabbed 49 times and having salt poured in his wounds. It is also alleged that George poured cleaning fluid into Nall’s eyes as a way of torturing him shortly prior to his death.
George, a homeless alcoholic, visited an off-licence directly after Nall’s murder and allegedly told a shop assistant that he had “just killed my best mate”. He initially denied the charge of murder, however changed his plea to guilty last week as his trial came to a close.
Prosecutor Ian Unsworth QC said that George had an interest in witchcraft that contributed to his brutal attack on Nall, and argued that this attack was largely inspired by similar scenes in The Loved Ones.
Unsworth said: “”He watched horror films. One film in particular that he liked to watch was called The Loved Ones, a violent horror film. In a chilling precursor to what befell Andrew Nall, one scene depicts a man being stabbed on multiple occasions, his chest having a letter carved into it before salt was thrown on to the wound. A strange long wound was carved into his abdomen, salt was found on his wounded body. He was tortured.”
The Loved Ones, directed by debutante Australian filmmaker Sean Byrne, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009 and has received wide-spread critical acclaim. It currently holds a 98% positive rating on prominent film review site Rotten Tomatoes and has been called Australia’s best horror film alongside breakout hit Wolf Creek.
Leigh Paatsch, who reviewed the film for the Herald Sun in 2010, claimed that The Loved Ones was the “most appallingly appealing” horror film of the year. He said that it was a “sick flick… however, the skills of first-time filmmaker Sean Byrne are in such rude health throughout that you just have to give in to the grossed-out assault coming at you.”
The victim’s sister Fiona Hall said that Nall’s family would “have had no idea that George was a sadistic bully capable of the most extreme violence.” They applauded the lengthy sentence imposed on George, saying that it was a reflection of the seriousness of his crime.