Found (DVD review, out now)

Run Time: 85 minutes / Release Date: Out Now / Rating: 18 / Label: Monster Pictures / Year: 2012 / Region: 2 / Genre: Horror / Director: Scott Schirmer / Cast: Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis Munro

Growing up is tough for Marty. His parents don’t understand him and he is bullied at school. He has only his big brother to look up to…that is until he discovers his brother’s chilling secret and a severed head in a sports bag at home. Found unravels a gripping and gruesome story that captures what it’s like to grow up in the time of VHS tapes and video nasties, as the American dream and everyday suburbia descends into a home-grown hell that will leave even the most hardened horror fan shocked by its disturbing finale. – Monster Pictures synopsis.

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What may increase interest in this title is the fact that it has been cut by the BBFC. To some horror fans the thought of a movie being cut, or censored, is a testament to how extreme it must be. Found is only cut by four seconds for a shot of an erect penis during a sexualised violent scene. The BBFC seem to think the British public will associate sexual pleasure with murder or bloodshed if they see such a thing depicted on screen so have a habit of cutting anything resembling that. Oddly the viewer does see said penis covered in blood and non-erect although the size implies immediate post-orgasm. No cuts have been made elsewhere despite some quite impressive and hyper-violent kill scenes.

Found does benefit from the gore and kills on screen, with a level of intensity not seen in recent horror. Most of this comes from the pseudo gore flick that Marty watches – Headless. Featuring a masked loon that ties up people and tortures them before chopping their heads off is designed to look like a low budget Video Nasty of the past. It certainly works, going further than some of those controversial movies from the Nasties list. Marty is horrified yet intrigued by the buckets of blood in Headless. One disturbing scene in the video-within-a-video is the killer sitting beneath a table and being showered in the blood spurting out of the neck of someone he has just beheaded. Headless will now be made into a full length stand alone feature.

Marty’s story though is what drives the film. While it begins with him making the startling discovery of a head in a bowling bag, hidden in his older brothers room, it eventually concentrates on the misery living people bring to his life. Finding a rotting head in his house is the least of his problems as he is bullied by almost everyone he encounters. He is 12 years old and at a delicate point of his life as he starts the transformation from boy to man. He can’t understand why friends, and even family members, treat him badly when he has always been led to believe that should never happen. It is teased that there is an internal conflict for Marty, does he want to become like his brother? This adds to his uncertainty and viewers will wonder if he’ll indulge in the activities of his brother.

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Brown and Philbeck

Gavin Brown, the young actor who plays Marty, gives a enthralling performance. The script demands him to go through a lot of emotions (although happiness is not one of them) that Brown portrays with believability and confidence. Philbeck is strong too as the slightly weird brother Steve that disappears at night. When he finally admits his secret to Marty the character becomes fully detached from reality and Philbeck has a genuine hint of menace to him as a result.

The film appears to be made by genuine horror fans with plenty of nods to other movies in the genre. The character of Steve has numerous film posters in his room for titles such as Street Trash and Pumpkinhead. Some gore fans will be trying to name the posters Steve has.

Special Features.

Making of – 36 minutes long, this is full of information on the concept behind Found, it’s making and it’s release. The cast and crew seem to have genuinely enjoyed their time shooting the film. Even Elivra makes an appearance.

Gag Reel – 6 minutes, mostly features clips of the actors fluffing their lines or special effects not going to plan.

Deep Dweller (with optional commentary) – 7 minutes long, a short film on one of the cheesy horror’s Marty watches with his friend David in Found.

There are also two commentaries, a Found trailer and Monster Pictures trailers.

Verdict.

An interesting story of a young boy going through emotional turmoil while witnessing some terrifying events, Found is a throwback for horror fans.

7 out of 10.

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