[BD Review] ‘Found’ Showcases Great Acting, Disturbing Story

Found

These days, it’s almost expected that a best-selling book gets turned into a film/TV series. Sometimes (not to slight the author’s efforts), it doesn’t even have to be a best-selling book, as in the case of Todd Rigney’s “Found”. Granted, I’d previously never heard of Todd Rigney or read any of his previous independently-published work (go figure), but I figured that there must be something in this book that caught director Scott Schirmer’s attention. Why else would he make a film based on this book? Suppress your cynicism, folks. Found is a disturbing little gem that is definitely a surprise.

Marty is your exceptional fifth grade student. He gets good grades, keeps quiet, and on the side, has a love for horror movies. Unfortunately for Marty, he’s bullied relentlessly at school, and his parents aren’t exactly the most supportive. Even Marty’s only friend, David, has started to become embarrassed being around Marty because of bullying by association. Marty also has an older brother named Steve, who shares the same fascination and love of horror as he does, even showing Marty his first horror movie. However, Marty soon discovers that Steve carries a dark secret with him, starting with the ever-changing severed head in Steve’s bowling ball bag.

In spite of being shot on a shoestring budget, Schirmer manages to bring out some good performances, particularly from Gavin Brown, who plays our protagonist. Brown is able to accurately portray a boy who is juggling a myriad of emotions and feelings, and do it in a realistic way. Often, I hate it when films (horror and otherwise) cast young actors who are in over their heads, and are nothing more than vehicles for plot advancement and almost devoid of acting chops or character. Thankfully, that’s not the case in this film. Complementing Brown’s performance is Ethan Philbeck as Steve, who delivers some truly creepy moments while also throwing in a few humourous ones to broaden the character. While he does feel a bit forced in parts, Philbeck still delivers an admirable performance.

Speaking of the two brothers, the chemistry between Steve and Marty really feels genuine. Well, as genuine as a younger brother and his serial killer brother can get. Brown and Philbeck really do come across as siblings, displaying emotion and attachment to one another that really does remind me of my relationship with my younger brother. I’m not a serial killer, mind you, but you get what I’m saying in regards to the seemingly authentic bond between two brothers who show concern for one another.

On the downside of things, the film does show it’s low-budget roots in a few ways. While the gore is delightful and at times very realistic, the initial shot of Marty with the severed head kind of took me out of things as it didn’t look all that convincing. Shooting close-up shots didn’t help things, either. In spite of Philbeck and Brown’s performances, their parents (Louie Lawless and Phyllis Munro) tended to be on the stiff side, and delivered dialogue that really sounded more rehearsed than natural. Lastly, the final act of the film does threaten to take you out of things thanks to the over-the-top violence, since it really comes out of nowhere. It’s definitely a squeamish part that makes my inner gorehound happy, but at the same time, it feels a little out of place with what’s happened so far.

Nonetheless, a few missteps doesn’t hinder this indie gem in the slightest. The narrative is excellent, with some serious commentary on family dysfunction and bullying, with showcasing some excellent acting by a couple of promising young actors. Kudos to Scott Schirmer for taking the leap and putting the right people in place to create a creepy and striking film. If you’re in the mood for an intelligent horror film that impresses on a variety of levels, Found is definitely that film, and deserves to be seen at least once.

Official Score

  • Grimphantom

    Sounds interesting, nice to know they didn’t have the whole big brother being a prick to the little brother and that they actually have the same taste except the older takes it a bit too far. Probably the effects won’t look too believable but to be honest i like to see good old fashion special effects.

    • Chris Crum

      The gore effects are quite good.

      • Grimphantom

        Oh yeah, the review does mention the gore effects are really good but when it comes to the scene with the head it doesn’t look believable but still i don’t mind that :)

  • J Jett

    very good, small little (i don’t mean that in a negative way) film. just a heads up, it’s not an all out gore flick. the main gore is mostly in 1 part of the film but that 1 part is a LOT of fun, with over the top, insane gore (reminded me of LAID TO REST’s gore scenes) and sexual gore(?). the rest of the film is more like a coming of age-ish type film (in a really dark, interesting, twisted way) from the little brother (the main focus) and his layered, loving yet VERY fucked up and heartbreaking relationship with his big brother (sick yet he means well when it comes to his little brother).

    sorry for my rambling mini-review! lol.

  • Chamber

    As I stated before, the only thing holding this movie back from being a really exceptional genre film is the acting. It was atrocious (especially the children). The Killer brother was good, but everyone else was so damn amateurish, I actually cringed when they “delivered” their lines. A very sore point on an otherwise impressive film.

  • Full Frontal Squashing

    What great acting?

  • Grot

    Any release info, or do we just guess?

  • Jay Obi Wan

    The acting was horrible! The movie was really nothing new but I did like the whole standing up against the bullies thing! The only thing different was the eyeball eating, but overall it was a big disappointment.