|Drama, Horror, Thriller
Distributor: XLrator Media
July 14th, 2012
Release length: 1:43:00
As stated, Found. is more of a coming of age story for brothers Marty (Gavin Brown) and Steve (Ethan Philbeck) than it is your typical Slasher, but the later comes into play with the secret being hidden in a older brother Steve’s bowling bag. This isn’t a secret to the viewers though, as it not only ends up in the very opening narrative, but also one of the film’s taglines. But, that’s ok, because Marty is a huge Horror movie fan, much like Steve, and while his parents aren’t exactly against it, they don’t really do much to deter the curiosity in the genre both have. In Marty, it’s considered a phaze considering his young age, only being in fifth grade, and being your typical bullied grade school student for one reason or another.
Eventually, Steve learns that Marty knows his secret, which becomes the main bonding moment between the two. Steve takes an interest in the people bullying Marty, and the two seem to get a little closer as brothers. That is until the trust is gone when Marty lets the secret out for leverage for the first time after learning about what inspired his brother, and later who his targets are. From here it becomes a test of his own patience towards the bullies, and keeping on his brother’s good side. But, everything eventually comes to a head at a church retreat with a conclusion that lives up to the power twists found in films like The Crying Game and Sleepaway Camp.
Visually, Found. pretty much gets everything right. The whole experience feels like some long lost gem from the eighties, or perhaps even some underground high budget Drama movie that was made but never saw that wide a release. Even the cameras take on that analog film look you just don’t see anymore. This may just have been due to the budget, but it works perfectly. Of course things like the iconic posters and general happy eighties family set-up like something out of The Wonder Years with a Metal and Horror twist is genuinely believable. It also doesn’t hurt that the Marty and his mother (Phyllis Munro) go into a video store that actually rents out VHS tapes instead of DVDs, further setting that tone. Honestly, it wasn’t until checking out the film’s IMDB.com page that I learned this was a recent release.
The only time the film kind of violates that specific era is the shift between reality and the film world. When YOUNG and his FRIEND are watching a movie from the older brother’s collection, the on-screen violence takes on more of a digital appearance with a transition that doesn’t help maintain that analog sensation. It’s an interesting move, however, making the sensation of the younger brother coming to terms with what his his older brother actually is and how that weighs in when David (Alex Kogin) starts turning against him at a sleepover.
The acting, however, isn’t the greatest. It seems like everyone in the film is just trying to be themselves, which is a commendable move given the drama and secrecy angle of this coming of age story. But, the fact of the matter is that this is the first film for pretty much everyone in the cast, and you can tell, especially in the supporting cast. Those individuals feel like they’re reading off the script and not putting much effort into it. Ethan Philbeck’s performance does play up the awkwardness that can be associated from everything he’s done to where some of the bonding moments begin to feel uncomfortable, and during some of the fight scenes involving the family you get drug into it thanks to the solid story writing and character development that makes you start to care for these people you spend a good amount of time with. Other than his performance, Gavin Brown does a decent enough job of being a kid who keeps to himself, Phyllis Munro being the happy mother trying to make her kids smile, and Louie Lawless as the father who cares but can overassert his authority a bit too much.
There’s no denying that Found. will be one of those films that ends up criminally overlooked until it eventually gains a cult following, if it even manages that. This isn’t your every day modern Horror flick by any stretch of the imagination, and leaving the Slasher angle out on the table as a side story playing out in the background really helps to keep you engrossed with those who know (and who don’t), as well as how it affects their lives. Sure it hooks you right away by revealing the key plot device a few minutes in, or as you’re literally holding the DVD case in your hands, but from that point on you watch as this family struggles until a number of choices tears them all apart. With clear love for the eighties slasher boom, and the only fault really being some stereotypical beliefs from time to time, Found. ends something Horror junkies the world over will appreciate as it slowly builds to one of the greatest endings to ever grace such a slow burn as this.
|Overall Score: 7.5/10