Written by Scott Schirmer
Stars:Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis Munro, Louie Lawless, Alex Kogin, Andy Alphonse, Kitsie Duncan.
Many thanks to Seam Schirmer for letting me screen his new indie horror Found. I am pleased to say that Found was one of the most engaging and compelling films I have seen this year, even in recent years.
The film tells the story of young Marty who has made the horrifying discovery that his older brother, Steve, is a serial killer who keeps the decapitated heads of his victims in a bowling bag in his closet. Marty's adolescent journey coupled with dealing with his new found knowledge is what makes this film so entrancing and disturbing at the same time. In fact the film is more like a superb drama with a very smart horror streak permeating it throughout which makes for something truly original and refreshing. As Marty's already rather sad existence gets steadily worse what with bullies at school, the one friend he has abandoning him and parents acting subtly (and sometime blatantly) neglectful, he becomes ever more interested in Steves night time activities...Found ends up going in all kinds of dark places. Touching on themes of racism, bullying, bad parenting and homosexuality, the film depicts a bleak world full of ignorance and in doing so also tells the chilling story of one seriously messed up mind and the one person who knows/keeps the deadly secret which will soon engulf a number of lives.
The acting in this film was astonishing. Both Gavin Brown and Ethan Philbeck are amazing as Marty and Steve. Gavin plays the sad kid with the weight of the world on his shoulders to a fine art and I have to confess I actually felt a bit tearful in the scene where his friend turns on him. It was the exact moment when his supposed best friend David says "I thought we were going to have some fun" and Marty replies, clearly wounded by Davis comment, "I thought we were". I cant imagine Gavin not going on to have an incredible acting career and I truly hope that he does. On the opposite side of the fence, Ethan Philbeck plays two roles really; the moody teenager and insane killer. Both are exceptional performances and shows a definate versatile talent. Again, if roles are not thrown at Ethan after this film I would be disappointed. He is one scary guy in this film, true, but what an actor. Both Phyllis Munro and Louie Lawless also do great jobs as the unknowing parents. I kind of liked Phyllis character Lisa for the first part of the film, but towards the end you kind of get the bigger picture in that she isn't the greatest mother in the world. Definitely no monster, but its clear that there must have been times throughout Marty and Steve's childhood when they needed her to stand up for them and be strong and it probably didn't happen. On the other hand, Louie Lawless, plays the boys father with full on mean relish, particularly nearer the climax of the film. Here is a man who has instilled all manner of hateful thoughts about other races on his children, since they were very young and both his ignorant opinions and violent acts have certainly taken their toll on Steve. Great performances in what must have been fairly tough but very meaty roles.
You could also never tell this was an indie. Its made so damn well, it absolutely belongs in a cinema, with a nice wide release. If Found ever makes it to a UK screening, I am there, and my purchase of an eventual DVD is already set in stone. The directing is great also, specifically in a chase scene between Marty and Steve a bit later on, I was actually on the edge of my seat during this part.
All in all I would say Found is a must see. It might not be for everyone, as it is very dark and there are some scenes viewers may find distressing, but if you enjoy a smart script, amazing acting and a powerful story then you really have to check this out. Please head on over to the movies official website to find out MORE!