Movie Review: Found

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Found (2012)
Directed by Scott Schrimer
Starring Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis Munro, Louie Lawless, Alex Kogin, Andy Alphonse, Adrian Cox-Thurmond

This movie recently won Best Feature Film in the Elivra’s Horror Hunt Film Festival 2012, sponsored by HorrorHound magazine. The director and some of the cast were at the recent HorrorHound Weekend and were right across the aisle from us where we were set up. So we got to watch the trailer throughout the whole weekend. It looked pretty interesting but had heard that it was pretty dark. Even though I am not the biggest fan of low budget filmmaking, after hearing so much praise for it, I figured I would give it a watch.

When the film starts out with the line “My brother keeps a human head in his closet”, it really does set the tone for the rest of the movie, which I happen to think was just brilliant. Based on the book by Todd Rigney, the story is about a young 12 year old boy named Marty, who is not the most popular kid in school. In fact, he is usually picked on and teased by the other students. Even his real one friend is getting tired of hanging around him since he is now being picked on due to his association with little him. Marty likes horror movies and drawing comics, which is a good way to seem like an outsider. His mom tells him she doesn’t like him watching all these horror films, but then lets him rent whatever he wants. Hmmm…little lack of parental supervision?

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Things get a lot more serious in his life after he had discovered that his brother was keeping a severed head in a bowling ball bag in his closet. And that these heads would be changed out with newer ones every now and then. His older brother Steve is definitely a loner and outsider among society, including his parents, but still cares deeply about this little brother. What does a 12 year old kid do with that knowledge of what his brother is doing? And how much longer can get take the constant abuse at school before something happens? Especially when he starts to get advice from his older brother. As the story continues, with Marty’s brother finding out that he knows about him, and that Marty starts to see the other side, the darker side of his brother, he starts to question things about life and the people around him, as well as himself and what is he going to do about it.

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There is some footage in this movie that really is pretty dark (in content, not in film quality), especially in the ‘film within the film’ sequences, where Marty is watching some horror movies that he found in his brother’s room, one called Headless. Kudos to the makeup crew on both the fake movies he’s watching, as well as the ones in the movie itself. Lots of blood being used, but some very realistic severed heads, as well as some other graphic violence. It really makes one ponder what watching some of these films might do to a person of such a young age. I mean, as horror fans we were always trying to push the limit to what we’ve seen while we were growing up. But then we’d get to one film that really kicked us in the nuts and made a major dent in our psyche. Are there any lasting effects? The path that Marty takes in this movie could be influenced by the movies that he’s been watching. But we all know there are bigger influences in our life that have more of an impact that than movies. Otherwise, we’d have a LOT more serial killers out there as popular as horror movies are. Marty is probably getting more guidance from his brother, but also it shows how much bullying at school can have a drastic effect on a young kid. Especially when it is downplayed by the school or even parents.

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As I’m always fond of saying, I generally don’t like low budget films. And this reason is basically because they look like shit. Terrible acting, no original story (if one at all), shot with a cheap video camera, and all the other stuff that 90% of the low budget filmmaking world churns out on a regular basis. But every now and then, we will see a film that will keep that glimmer alive that there just still might be some hope after all for these young and broke filmmakers. This film was definitely one of them.

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Found was made for about $8000 and by watching it, you’d never know. But this is not a movie for kids. From the graphic violence, to just the dark nature of the older brother, there is some intense stuff going on here, even if the main character is a 12 year old boy. That being said, it is a great little movie. The cinematography was very well done, with some great camera shots throughout the film. The opening credits are animated based on the graphic novel that Marty and his friend are making, which was extremely well done and very cool to watch. This is a great example of when you have a good story, and a lot of talented people behind and in front of the camera, how great things can happen. Found gives me hope for low budget horror films.

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