Blu-ray/DVD, Entertainment, Reviews

Found, a Horror Flick for the Macabre

FOUND box art

With just a week to go before we enter the month of horror, here comes the release of Found on DVD. It’s a diabolical film that will make you cringe.  Not for the faint of heart, the movie takes you on a dark ride into evil. Nicely acted and directed, the film is a macabre start-up to the season of goblins and ghouls.

Being a good student at his local elementary school, Marty (Gavin Brown) finds the going rough with fellow classmates.  No one has been helpful in stopping his being bullied at school, his parents are not being cooperative of his needs and he’s about to find a terrible secret that will make matters even worse. Marty has a major flaw – he’s a snoop going through the family’s private papers and items.

One day while fumbling around his brother Steve’s (Ethan Philbeck) room he comes across evidence that his brother may be the serial killer that has been plaguing his small town. While most kids would be appalled by his finding, the love he has for his brother overshadows the awful deed he may be doing.  When he starts seeing the bullies disappearing from his school, things start to get very sketchy for Marty and puts him in a position of making a very difficult decision.

Steve (Philbeck) confronts his brother Marty (Brown) in Found
Steve (Philbeck) confronts his brother Marty (Brown) in Found

The film is based on a novel by Todd Rigney who also co-wrote the screenplay with director Scott Schirmer.  The two developed the ghoulish plot into a bloody work of horror for the screen that uses some very sickening scare tactics that take the film up a few notches over some of the most chilling films of the past.  Commendable that the movie was made on a low budget, yet wallows in special effects that could normally balloon the cost of major productions.

Schirmer keeps his film tight with smart reveals that hide nothing from the audience from the start right up to the finale.  It’s ghastly, yet a nice piece of grisly horror for fans of the genre.  If there is a downside it’s the lack of good sound recording, and in some cases, photography in low light situations.  But, it’s a horror flick, and most followers of such bloody mayhem will never notice the little things that distract most of us film critics.

Marty tries on Steve's mask
Marty tries on Steve’s mask

Acting by the main characters is good considering its Gavin Brown’s first film.  The youngster had no formal training prior to the making of Found, and from his performance as Marty he could be on his way to a good career given the opportunity.  It’s refreshing to see new talent on the screen, especially when they can bring difficult characters to life.  Also a newbie, Ethan Philbeck surprises with a gruesome show as the evil brother that protects Marty from those who would do him harm.  Showing the ferocity of Steve, and yet a soft side that’s been hidden due to parental abuse, Philbeck stands out in this convincingly portrayed gore feast.

An example of the special effects make-up
An example of the special effects make-up

The opening animated graphics are brilliant and depict the graphic novel that Marty and his friend David (Louie Lawless) are drawing together. The special head sculptures are very realistic and yet disturbing.  Marty and David watch a video that is very graphic and unsettling, even though it’s supposed to be the reason why his brother is committing the killings.  This video alone is very disconcerting and should have given Found an NC-17 rating.

Found has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains extreme violence, bondage, necrophilia, gore, rape, graphic nudity, racial slurs and teen smoking.  The film is not for the squeamish or easily disturbed.  The recommendation here is that no one under 17 be allowed to watch the film due to its graphic nature.

Specifications and additional film information:

Cast: Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis Munro and Louie Lawless
Director: Scott Schirmer
MPAA Rating: Unrated, contains violence, gore, rape nudity, racial slurs, teen smoking
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
Running Time:1 hr 43 min    
Video Release Date: September 23, 2014
Original Film Release Date: July 23, 2012
Language: English
Format: DVD
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: XLrator Media

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com