Friday, 3 October 2014

31 Days of Horror: Found (2012)

Found (2012)
Director: Scott Schirmer
Starring: Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis Munro
Running Time: 103 min

  When I hear that a film is banned, then I try to bump that film up in priority in my viewing schedule.  This is the first feature for Scott Schirmer so I didn't really know what to expect but I'm always fascinated to find out what kind of twisted scenes or mayhem a film could have that  would put a country like Australia's nose out of joint.

  Marty is a twelve year old boy who likes to draw comic books, watch horror movies and has a brother named Steve who always keeps his latest trophy head in a bowling bag in his closet.  Lately, Steve has been having issues with his parents and he's been arguing a lot with their dad but other than this and the heads of decapitated black women, Marty thinks Steve is the best darn brother in the world.
  If things weren't bad enough at home, Marty only has one friend at school, David and when he's not around Marty gets picked on by a bully named Marcus.  One day during a really odd washroom break, Marcus and his toadie, start teasing Marty about his penis size and then beat him up in the bathroom.  Luckily, the teacher breaks it up and sends Marty home.  His parents are upset but Steve is the only one who suggests fighting back.  His mom says that not the best idea and then she suggests that he can stay home the next day from school and to invite his friend David stay over that night.
  That night, Marty and David watch a scary movie called "Headless", that they steal/borrow from Steve's room.  It's about a guy who cuts off women's heads, eats their eyeball and has sex with the head.  Marty can't help but picture that this is what his brother Steve is doing when he goes out and it  makes him uncomfortable.  David notices this and uses it as opportunity to tease Marty, which leads to David revealing to Marty that he doesn't want to be his friend cause he's a "pussy" and always gets picked on.  Upset, Marty brings out the big guns to prove to David that he's not a "pussy" and grabs the bag from Steve's closet to show to David.  Now that the proverbial "cat" is out of the bag, how will Marty survive when his brother Steve finds out what he's done?

 Director Scott Schirmer creates a great throwback horror flick that reminds me of a mix of Silver Bullet, Stand By Me and High Tension.  Schirmer tells a horrific coming of age story that doesn't pull any PC punches, in either the use of language or the ferocity of the horror violence which reminds me of director Alexandre Aja, "High Tension".  Schrimer lays it all down from the start, there is no mystery that Marty's brother, Steve is a killer and we are completely mesmerized by this young man's story.
  Also, this film has some pretty twisted visuals, besides the obvious which is having multiple heads in a bag, the video "Headless" really pushes the limits of not some much gore but the disgusting uses of the human head.  I never agree with banning of content, but can understand why Australia may have been hesitant to show this.  However, the ending of the film is pretty kinky as well and touches on some serious taboo subjects but Schirmer proves what a good director he can be and decides not to show what is going on but leaves the sounds/screams and lets your imagination to do the work for you.  On a side note, Arthur Cullipher, who worked on the special effects, will be directing an actual version of "Headless" movie.

My only issues with the film are that I don't know when this film is suppose to be set.  Marty and Steve seem to have a large collection of VHS tapes and film posters from the 80's but when they got to the video store, there are titles for DVDs and Xbox 360 games on the shelf.  Also, the film "Headless" was suppose to be made in 1978, well, I grew up in the 80's and there weren't any masks like that and that girl being murdered was sporting tattoos that in areas that weren't in fashion back then.  I know, these are minor and trivial things but they can take you out of the story and affect the enjoyment.
  Also  some of the scenes are with the actors are a little stiff and there are some shots that you can tell were perhaps the beginning of the shoot but I think that the film deserves so leeway way considering it was shot on an estimated budget of 8,000 dollars.  Which is quite remarkable on how well it turned out and overall the team did a fabulous job on this.

  This is a future classic or at least a film that will be seen on a dozen "must see" horror lists on the internet.  Although there are scenes that are tremendously gruesome, it is also a very well thought out piece of film making with a lot of heart and you may never look at bowling bags the same again. 

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