Sunday, 27 September 2015



Well, first off, the actual on-screen title is Found., with a full stop, but in the interests of not having to fiddle around with the word processor's auto-capitalization settings I'll just refer to it as Found for simplicity's sake. Secondly, despite that title, it's mercifully not a found-footage movie, a genre which I could quite happily never see again.

Found is actually a smart and intriguing low-budget horror which starts with the terrific opening line: "My brother keeps a severed head in a sports bag in his wardrobe." And it's not imagination or exaggeration: he really does. Is young Marty's big brother Steve really a serial killer? And why? But for stretches the film leaves that idea alone, focussing on Marty's interest in creating a superhero comicbooks and watching sadistic horror movies that are spectacularly unsuitable for his age. (It's a nice whiff of nostalgia to see they're all on VHS tapes.) But sooner or later Steve will reveal his real self in Marty's defence, cueing a bloody (though largely unseen) finale of wanton violence

It's nice to see a movie treading the line between silly horror movies like the cheap videos Marty watches and the raw, real bloody horror of Found's last reel. The made-up horrors of Deep Dwellers (a tacky monster movie in the vein of Humanoids From The Deep) and Headless (an extreme slasher full of torture and eye-eating that's more in the style of Andreas Schnass' repugnant Violent ****) are certainly hideous and revolting, but they're just stupid entertainments and nowhere near as shocking as Steve's real (within the context of the film) actions at the end. The idea is that Marty will probably be more traumatised by those acts that he hasn't seen but which happened in his real world, rather than the leering gore and mutilation he devours in unsuitable horror films he's nowhere near old enough to see.

The movie-in-a-movie excesses of Headless certainly wouldn't have got through the UK censors at the time of the film's setting, and indeed would probably have placed in the top third of the video nasties list, but today's more enlightened BBFC have let those scenes pass unscathed while trimming four seconds from the "real" film: specifically sight of an erection during a "scene of sadistic sexualised violence and threat". To be honest, if you didn't know it had been edited, you probably couldn't tell, and the BBFC's tinkering around the edges of horror movies no longer bothers me, especially when it's within scenes of violent sexual behaviour involving, or in the proximity of, young children. (Or even when children aren't involved at all.)

For the most part it's an interesting little film of the pains of growing up, dealing with parents and bullies and escaping into fantasy worlds, with some flavourings of homophobia in the school bullies and casual racism from Steve and Dad. To some extent the genuine horror of the finale slightly overbalances the tone of the rest of the movie, but it's well played, well made on a ludicrously low budget and nicely effective.


No comments: