I love the horror genre. I eat and breathe all things genre, but to be perfectly honest, very little keeps me thinking and recalling a film as soon as it’s done. There are just so many films coming out these days, a lot of which come and go, without really making any kind of mark or impression on their viewers. To rise above that and really be a lasting film, one that refuses to leave once it’s over, it takes good writing, acting, and well, something much deeper. Scott Schirmer’s FOUND gives viewers a glimpse into the awkward and confusing coming of age life of a young boy, before placing you into an absolutely shocking hell of a second half, leaving you gutted and shocked in disbelief.
Following Marty, a fifth grader who feels completely misunderstood by his parents and classmates, FOUND quickly introduces a character that anybody who went through the hell of being an outsider as a kid, can instantly relate to. Marty loves horror films, drawing comics and is infinitely curious about his older brother, a quiet and somewhat aggressive young adult. The films begins with a voice over narration from Marty about feeling misunderstood, and while sneaking into his brother’s closest, Marty narrates how his brother keeps a severed human head in a bowling bag.
It’s that moment, where Marty lifts the head from the bag that as a viewer, you realize that you’re in for a dark and devastating film. It’s that naiveté of youth, that gives you, as a viewer, the foreshadowing feeling that at some point, Marty will have to address the head with his brother, who we find out has not only killed one person, but does it regularly. With the absence of anybody who gives even a second’s worth of attention to Marty, his chances of finding himself in a healthy way are almost impossible, as the more he looks into what his serial killer brother does, the more it begins to affect him.
It’s a very original and different kind of film, one that doesn’t feel the need to use jump scares or red-herrings to lead you towards a direction other than the one that is perfectly clear: Marty will in one way or another be permanently affected by his brother. It’s a “product of your environment” type of character, one that feels like it was what Rob Zombie had tried to do with Michael Myers in his remake, but in a realistic, less trashy way. Marty feels like an everyday kid, hell, watching the film took me back to having the same exact feelings that Marty had, ones of feeling like my parents and peers just didn’t get me, that horror films were the only form of solace that I had. In FOUND, Marty has a single friend, one that eventually tires of getting made fun fro being Marty’s friend, leaving our main character with even THAT much more of a no chance-vibe.
As the film goes on, and we see Marty begin to exhibit behavior that feels like the beginning of having the same thought process that his brother has, as a viewer, you’re continually hoping that Marty is given an ear from anyone, you actually CARE about what happens to the kid, something that unfortunately lacks in a lot of today’s genre films. You’re fully aware that there WILL be a confrontation, but you’re constantly hoping for one that will leave Marty in one piece.
By far one of the best coming of age & serial killer films in years, FOUND is a shocking and extremely heart-wrenching look at feeling misunderstood and lost, and the absolute hell that childhood can be.