"Found" may very well be one of the most difficult films I ever reviewed
It completely wasn't what I expected, but then again I didn't really know what to expect. It is definitely a horror movie, but simultaneously also one of those films that are unclassifiable. Like several other reviewers around here, I'm tempted to label it as a "coming-of-age" story, but those are usually pretentious and boring, and "Found" most certainly is not! And finally, I don't want to use too many enthusiast superlatives, because it honestly isn't that unique or fantastic, neither. The least I can say for myself is that "Found" pleasantly surprised me in some ways and also that it made me think. Not necessarily about deeply philosophical subjects, but merely about how simple and identifiable the most shocking horror tales actually are.
The one thing I find absolutely astonishing in Todd Rigney's screenplay (adapted from his own novel) is the realism and authenticity of the lead characters, and particularly of the young protagonist Marty. I recognize a lot of myself in Marty from when I was around that age. Finally a normal 12-year-old who loves watching gory horror movies without hinting that he's abnormal, disturbed or potentially dangerous. Marty says early in the film: "I like watching violence, but I'm not a violent person myself". That's exactly what I'm forced to repeat to people over and over again when I tell them about my passion for extreme cinema. I have been intrigued with sick and sadist violence for as long as I can remember, and – like with Marty - my parents never made a big deal out of it, but I never felt the urge to hurt another living creature or was unable to function in society. I consider "Found" as one of the best horror stories of the last 10-15 years if it were only for the verity of Marty's character. And the same actually goes for his parents as well. They actually come across as good people and decent parents; not like the clichéd type of abusive and alcoholic parents who are generally responsible for the later failures of their children. Of course, I didn't have an older brother who was a serial killer and kept severed heads in his closet, but obviously Todd Rigney needed at least one extraordinary lead character, otherwise his novel and screenplay would have been quite boring.
So, Marty discovered that his older brother Steve is a murdering psychopath and he's terrified of him. Marty desperately tries to hide from Steve that he knows his dark secret, but also can't resist snooping around in his brother's horror closet and impressive VHS horror collection. Marty has very few friends and gets bullied at school, but the evil hobby of his brother and also Steve's increasingly protective behavior give Marty more confidence and strength to stand up for himself. "Found" is film of extreme opposites. The atmosphere of the main story is foreboding and the pacing is rather slow. There practically isn't any action and even the intense climax is suggestive and unsettling rather than explicit and confronting. In sheer contrast to all this, however, there's a large portion of film-within-film footage that is utterly violent, sickening and gratuitous. The supposedly lost horror movie is called "Headless" and follows a deranged killer wearing an eerie skull-mask as he's ruthlessly butchering young women and sodomizing their mutilated corpses. If it weren't for the "Headless" footage, and perhaps 2 or 3 human heads in a bowling bag, "Found" would only be a talkative and atmospheric coming-of-age story (albeit a very good one)
Based on popular demand, "Headless" got turned into a full-length separate film, directed by make-up wizard Arthur Cullipher and starring Shane Beasley as the deranged killer. According to many people whose opinions I trust, it's just as vile and uncompromising as the footage shown in "Found". Needless to say I will do whatever I can to see it as soon as possible.
Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller
Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller
Based on the novel by Todd Rigney, "Found" centers around Marty, a shy, bullied fifth-grader who takes refuge in horror films... until his life turns into one. After finding a human head in his brother's closet, Marty fears for the safety of his family while making a desperate effort to reconnect with Steve, the big brother whose homicidal cravings threaten to destroy life as Marty knows it.
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April 03, 2015 at 07:53 AM