Marty loved horror movies… Until his life turned into one.
Marty is the ideal fifth grader. He gets good grades, listens to his teachers, and doesn’t start trouble in class. But darkness is beginning to fall over Marty’s life. The kids at school won’t stop picking on him, his parents just don’t seem to understand him, and now Marty must grapple with a terrible secret that threatens to destroy life as he knows it – his big brother is a serial killer! Brotherly love is put to the ultimate test in this emotional coming-of-age story that descends into full-blown horror.
Found is a dark labor of love written by Kentucky author Todd Rigney, shot by an all-Hoosier cast and crew on a micro-budget of just $8,000. Featuring bold performances by young actors Gavin Brown and Ethan Philbeck, a killer animated title sequence by Indianapolis artist Lowell Isaac, and gut-wrenching gore by the Clockwerk Creature Company, Found has been called “as horror as horror can get” by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Found made its auspicious world premiere in September 2012, when the iconic Elvira and a panel of celebrity judges including Joe Bob Briggs, Bill Moseley, Sybil Danning, and Peaches Christ unanimously selected Found for best feature at Elvira’s Horror Hunt, sponsored by HorrorHound Magazine and Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. The film also won awards for best actor and best director.
Throughout 2013 and 2014, Found continued its tour on the festival circuit, becoming an official selection of numerous film festivals, including the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, L’Etrange Festival in Paris, Toronto After Dark, the Lausanne Underground Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Fear & Fantasy Film Festival. It has won awards at The New York City Horror Film Festival, The Phoenix Film Festival, The Terror de Molins Film Festival in Barcelona, The Nevermore Film Festival in Durham, The New Orleans Horror Film Festival, The Eerie Horror Film Festival, A Night of Horror International Film Festival in Sydney, The Motor City Nightmares Film Festival, The Mad Monster Party Film Festival, and the Housecore Horror Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
On August 15th, 2014, XLrator Media released Found in theaters, iTunes, and cable VOD through its acclaimed Macabre label in the United States. The release was accompanied by coverage in USA Today and positive reviews in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Fangoria. Shortly thereafter, XLrator Media released the film in Canada, while Monster Pictures distributed the film in Australia and the United Kingdom. One Eyed Films is currently working to secure distribution in all other territories.
After reading Todd Rigney’s book for the first time, I never wanted anything so badly in my entire life. On a surface level, Found struck me as an unlikely mash-up of two of my favorite films — Ordinary People and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. But under that surface were a dozen or so delicious ambiguities and provocative themes that spoke to me very personally.
Chief among these, I think Found has a lot to say about bullying and the warping potency of shame in boys’ lives. Todd perfectly captures a moment in the life of our young protagonist, Marty — and I think in many boys’ lives — where he is forced to make a conscious decision to leave boyhood, to risk alienating his mother and family, just so he can compete and survive among his peers. Boys do this even if it means sacrificing core parts of their humanity. That’s what happens when caring gets perceived as a feminine quality, a weakness. And in the depiction of Steve, the older brother, I think we see how dangerous that sacrifice can be. Steve is a projection of Marty further down the road, but he goes beyond violence for retaliation. He embodies an entirely other notion that I’ve rarely seen explored in media, one that only needs hinted at to shock and disturb — the sexual fetishism of violence.
Marty’s conflict points to ‘nurture’. Steve’s suggests ‘nature’. Which is more horrifying — that male violence is intrinsic, or that it’s bred and condoned? Found gave me an opportunity to explore the thorny path many boys and young men take as their rite of passage. Todd crystallizes the turning point in Marty’s life, and he shows us the worst case scenario in Steve’s. The plight of these characters shapes Found into a coming-of-age story that descends into full-blown horror.
Something I can really sink my teeth into. — Scott Schirmer