A Night Of Horror Preview: Found



$8,000. That’s what this near masterpiece of horror was made for. It’s chilling and disturbing and has nightmare images that will attach to your brain whether you’d want them to or not (and you don’t). But what makes it different and especially intriguing is that, at its pitch black heart, Found is a superior character study.

The situation is established quickly and seen through fifth-grader Marty’s eyes. He makes a gruesome discovery in his older brother’s bedroom, soon understanding that his only sibling Steve is a serial killer. Part of what makes this so good is that it’s via Marty that we see what’s happening – how he responds to new information and the changing landscape around him. This is a strong character, a bullied boy who has certain fortitude. Marty’s easy to feel and care for as Found slowly uncovers what’s behind the façade of his ‘normal’ family. 

Based on the novel by Todd Rigney, director/co-writer and editor Scott Schirmer has made something that sits in the left field of the horror genre. This is a thoughtful film, building the sense of dread to disturbing levels. As Marty, newcomer Gavin Brown is flawless, while screen brother Ethan Philbeck is increasingly frightening as the soft-featured psycho-killer Steve. 

It’s dark but fascinating stuff – Found comments on school bullying and dysfunctional families but it cleverly brews in the fine traditions of classic horror. To reveal the reasons for its cleverness would land us in spoiler territory. This is a must-see for fans of the genre. It’s so accomplished you won’t believe it was made for a scant $8,000. You won’t ever forget it, either.

Found screens on April 16 at the Dendy Newtown as part of the A Night of Horror/Fantastic Planet film festivals (April 11-21), followed by the Australian Horror Gala of short films (8.30pm for 9pm start).


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