A horror-obsessed boy discovers his older brother is a serial killer.
Based on the novel by Todd Rigney, Found, is about a bullied fifth grader named, Marty, and his seriously messed up childhood. Marty (Gavin Brown) is a shy kid with a passion for creating his own comic books. Like myself at that age, Marty is obsessed with horror films and loves to spend time pouring through the movies at his local video store. His Dad is a racist, overbearing male archetype; his mother, a loving, nurturing woman. Then, there’s Marty’s brother, Steve (Ethan Philbeck), but will get back to him.
The film’s opening scene is as disturbing as they come, and compounded by Marty’s young age. Some bowling ball bags should never be opened. What could easily be a coming of age tale about a kind, bullied kid, morphed into something much darker. Elements of the film could be reminiscent of Super 8 or The Gate if not for the insane nature of the film. Marty is perceived as a weird kid at school, a familiar theme in horror films, creating a central protagonist viewed as a weirdo or outsider. Stephen King was doing in the early 80’s, Friday the 13th did it; it’s not a new theme, but one that works well even in 2014.
After a particularly bad run-in with the local bully, it’s then that older brother Steve confirms his terrible secret with Marty. Steve’s love for his little brother keeps Marty safe throughout the film, and maybe to a fault. Steve’s ability to be a normal guy starts and ends with his kid brother. Indeed, as the synopsis confirms, Steve is the worst, most fucked up type of The Devil’s Reject kind of killer possible. Death doesn’t even dissuade Steve’s reprehensible habits. Of course, as the film progresses, Steve’s thirst for blood grows, ending in a climax that can’t be unseen. Casual horror lovers, I advise you skip this one. The film was even banned in Australia due to it’s extremely brutal and sexualized treatment of women. Listen, it’s terrible, it’s evil; it’s a horror film, so let it exist as one. No real women were beheading while filming Found.
I watch a lot of indie horror films, and I have to give it to Found; this is one of the most disturbing indie films I’ve ever seen. The elements of deep brotherly love creates a perplexing undertone to an otherwise bloodbath of a horror tale. Both Philbeck and Brown are excellent and believable as siblings, and that alone added a punch to Found. Director, Scott Schirmer, shines as well, creating an almost overwhelming sense of despair and terror. I can’t stress how fucked up this film is; Schirmer’s vision is largely responsible.
You can find Found in theaters, iTunes, and VOD August 15. Psychiatrist bills are your responsibility.