Based on the novel by Todd Rigney, “Found” centers around Marty, a shy, bullied fifth-grader who takes refuge in horror films… until his life turns into one. After finding a human head in his brother’s closet, Marty fears for the safety of his family while making a desperate effort to reconnect with Steve, the big brother whose homicidal cravings threaten to destroy life as Marty knows it.
It’s Monday afternoon and I’ve been up since 4am and I’m getting really cranky since I only slept a total of 3hrs. I want to go to sleep but if I do, I won’t sleep tonight so I just fight to stay awake. I decide to watch a movie, one I picked up at the recent HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis. That show was also host to Elvira’s Horror Hunt Film competition. The film in question, “Found.” was the winner after all was said and done. I was unable to attend the screening at the convention (yeah, I was drinking and missed it), so thankfully I have that DVD. Within the first five minutes of the film I was floored and disturbed. A VERY dark scene that grabs you, disgusts you, and fascinates all in a matter of minutes. Also from that moment, the groundwork was laid for a film that should instantly become a classic in genre filmmaking and a movie that shouldn’t be missed.
Marty (Gavin Brown) is a huge horror film fan, unfortunately he is only 12 and that has kind of made him a loner and alienated from the other kids at school. He also has an older brother, Steve (Ethan Philbeck) who has a secret. Marty discovers that Steve is a real life serial killer, keeping the severed heads of his victims in a bowling bag in his closet. Marty seems to have a rather normal life and relationship with his parents, but at school, it’s another story. He is constantly a victim of bullying. So he has to deal with that everyday along with the knowledge of what his brother is doing. All he has is his friend David (Alex Kogin) who is also growing embarrassed to be around Marty, just because they make fun of him too. All this, then add neglectful parents on top of it, this leaves him very lonely, though it gives him time to snoop around his brother’s room. And the things he discovers with forever alter his life.
“Found.” is much more a coming-of-age drama than a horror film. That doesn’t matter, this film was assembled with such precision that it will be a crime if it doesn’t receive some sort of wider release. The film is an independent production, shot on an incredibly small budget (I had heard it was in the area of $8,000) that blows most big budget films out of the water with its story, acting, music, and cinematography. There is an interesting dynamic between the brothers that is sweet and frightening at the same time. Gavin and Ethan are both incredible in their roles and are able to bring such heart and sincerity (as well as a horrifying intensity) to the proceedings. As a child actor, Gavin Brown is an astonishing find. He carries the film and we see everything unfold through his eyes. So as not to focus on just one person, this entire cast is just PERFECT!!
Director Scott Schirmer expertly churns out this film that not only tries to show how ignorant we are as a society, as well as scare the crap out of you with how real this could be. There is an eerie sense of realism that the events of this film could possibly happen. With that undertone running throughout the film, it gives you an unsettling feeling in your stomach with the VERY GRAPHIC realism that is present. Props must go out to the special effects crew for showing us some of the best practical effects I’ve seen in a long time.
“Found.” is without question one of the hidden gems of the year that is just screaming to be, well, found. Stupid horror films are a dime a dozen, it’s the intelligent ones that are hard to come by. This is one of them. Do WHATEVER it takes to find or see this film. It is a modern classic that is screaming to be discovered. I beg you not to miss “Found.” It’s the type of horror film that true genre fans have been waiting for. ***** (out of 5)