Directed by Scott Schirmer
An 11 year old boy named Marty discovers his older brother keeps human heads in his closet. He only has one at a time but every so often it’s replaced with a new one and more often than not, they are the heads of black women. Marty neglects to tell his parents and has bigger problems to worry about when he becomes the target of the school bully who not only physically hurts Marty but also starts rumours about him at school which further alienates him from his peers. Will his killer brother Steve come to his aid or will Marty be the next on his list after discovering his hidden secret?
FOUND played at Grimmfest 2013 but unfortunately I missed the screening as I was out interviewing some of the stars of the festival. After the screening, I was informed of some of the graphic content this movie contained, which was the touted as the most shocking of the festival that year. Since being classified for its DVD release in the UK, the scenes which I was warned about have been cut by the BBFC, which is no surprise, but what is left is still an interesting film on growing up, albeit if your brother is a serial killer.
Gavin Brown stars as the young Marty and captures the viewer with his natural talent for acting. He plays Marty as a boy who’s struggling with life, both in school and at home. He’s picked upon at school, his parents won’t stick up for him and his brother Steve (Ethan Philbeck), whilst protective, is obviously unhinged and would probably kill him if he found out Marty knew his dark secret. The only solace Marty finds is from his VHS horrors he rents from the video shop and the horror themed graphic novel he’s working on with his only friend, David. His latest attack from school bully Marcus triggers a set of events that will change Marty’s life forever.
FOUND is quite a visual film as well as a narrative one and with a disturbing storyline that is introduced in the first line of the movie, narrated by the character of Marty, the viewer instantly knows what to expect from the movie. Although there are serious horror elements to this film, the coming-of-age drama is more focused upon than the horror elements. Horror does indeed play an important part though, both in Steve’s case and also as a subject of interest for both brothers in the form of VHS video nasties. One movie in particular has an effect on Steve, showing how some people can be influenced or triggered by the media they consume, whilst others enjoy them for what they are: entertainment, even if they feature a horrifying subject.
Though both brutal and shocking in parts, FOUND doesn’t overdo the horror like a torture porn flick would, instead presenting a realistic scenario in the eyes of an 11 year old boy who’s caught in a particular time and place. The scenes of horror that are shown in this seemingly blissful suburbia really cut through normality like a knife through butter, just because they are so disturbing to what seems like your average everyday life. The build up is as important as the conclusion and the director Scott Schirmer has done a great job executing this.
If you like the coming-of-age drama of Stand By Me with a dash of video nasty decapitation horror, then check out FOUND.