A white suburban teenager likes to kill black women. He keeps them in a bowling bag in his closet. They don't stay long. Where they come from and where they go is unknown. The heads don't lie undisturbed, known only to this killer teen, though. His little brother knows and really, what could fuck up a kid more than that? Little boys usually only have to worry about bullies. Most don't need to worry whether his older brother could go on a rampage in the middle of the night. Issues like abuse from the parents seem somewhat tame by comparison. What's a boy to do? Horror movies seem like the perfect morbid escape. It's a band-aid solution, sure. Where else to go? When no one seems to listen or understand, you'll want any love you can get, as disturbing as that situation might be.
Found. The heartwarming tale of brotherly love. Gavin Brown as Marty has it rough and it seems like only his bigger brother, Ethan Philbeck as Steve, ever really understands him. Of course Steve has a bag full of problems, but it's Marty we care about. Marty is, after all, only 10. Seeing Marty live his day to day, going to school with an awful teacher, a cold school, and bullies made me wonder if Toronto After Dark had left The Dirties in the player from their summer screenings. Only this story goes a bit further than just bullies being the main issue. It helps that Steve has some advice for Marty. The push and pull of Steve being the caring older brother while being a murdering psycho gives the film most of it's tension early on. The fear that Marty has for Steve is partly because he doesn't know if he's safe from his brother's wrath and partly because he's the sneaky younger brother, afraid of getting caught doing what he knows he shouldn't.
The horrors of finding a decapitated head would be hard to live with. Escapism through horror only makes sense for Marty. No one seems to understand -- not his warden of a teacher. His mom and dad certainly don't listen; in fact, mom and dad don't seem like the best of parents. The most important people in Marty's life just don't get who he is or that there's the possibility that they could potentially kill him. Horror movies, and also making masks, is how he gets through it all. A creative outlet that's only slightly out of the ordinary, but dad would prefer baseball, thinking it will make the good old boy more of a man. Mom, on the other hand, would prefer her son remain a meek boy that doesn't fight back against the bullies who torture him so. Which only makes sense, since dad's a bit of a slugger himself who thinks his son shouldn't bother with his interests because they're no good. The way Scott Schirmer (Director and Screenwriter) and writer Todd Rigney has the family dynamic work is the film's greatest strength. It seems disjointed - the family, not the film. Who knows what kind of effect the lack of a family life had on Steve, but it's Marty who really needs help. Steve isn't redeemable as the monster.
Most interesting about Steve's characterization is that the distaste we already have for him as a reprobate is pushed further by his explanation of why he kills: he blames his upbringing. He falls back on racism as his excuse. The bigoted tirade he goes on brought about audible gasps from the audience almost as much as his equally disgusting penchant for collecting heads. It's just a smoke screen for Steve, whether he admits it to himself or not. He's got a wholly more disturbing reason for what he does, which leads to one of the most repugnant endings in recent memory.
With one of the most cringe-inducing moments in film history, found. will haunt you. In the end it won the Audience Choice Awards for both Best Title Sequence and also Best Gore and played at Toronto After Dark on Wednesday, October 23 this year. Be sure to keep an eye out for its release. Even if it's edited down some I'm sure it will have just as nightmarish a story to tell.