With its slightly washed-out visuals, largely bad acting, gratuitous nudity, and graphic violence inflicted on female bodies, Found evokes something of the low-budget, derivative, post-Halloween horror films of the '70s but still manages to be a bit more than the sum of its parts. It's far from great -- it's not even good, really -- but if you're sympathetic to this sort of thing, the demented story will pull you in and hold you through the over-the-top, bloody ending. Marty (Gavin Brown, who sheds glycerin tears with the best of them) is being bullied at school for being shy and sensitive. At home, his distracted mom and racist, overbearing dad are the least of his problems.
His sociopathic, horror film–loving older brother, Steve (Ethan Philbeck), keeps a rotating collection of severed heads, primarily taken from black women, in a bowling-ball bag. When he tells Steve the name of his most recent bully, Marty can't see the consequences (though the viewer can). Philbeck is the best-in-show here, chewing the scenery and clearly having a blast as a fledgling then full-blown madman. (And as the final few scenes show, he's either blessedly endowed or rocks a prosthetic penis with Mark Wahlberg's Boogie Nights éclat.) Writer-director Scott Schirmer eschews the ironic approach, thankfully, and instead works to pull genuine tension from his material. He does that quite well, and any unintentional laughs (or eye rolls) are icing.
Scott SchirmerGavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis MunroScott Schirmer, Todd RigneyXLrator Media