M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Four of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2013 and going through September 30, 2014. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!

How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2013 and September 30, 2014 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!

Released on September 23, 2014. Available on digital download, On Demand, and DVD/Blu-ray!

FOUND (2012)

Directed by Scott Schirmer
Written by Todd Rigney (novel), Scott Schirmer (screenwriter)
Starring Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis Munro, Louie Lawless, Alex Kogin, Andy Alphonse, Shane Beasley, Angela Denton, Edward Jackson, Adrian Cox-Thurmond, Dane Irwin
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here

Quiet, seething, and simmering, FOUND is a ticking time bomb of a film that will sneak up on you in the night and strike deep just when you think you’re safe. While the opening moments of this film are dark, it still did not prepare me for the depths FOUND goes and having watched it a few days ago, I am still trying to scratch and claw myself out of the darkness it buried me in.

Told from the point of view of a twelve year old boy named Marty (Gavin Brown), FOUND begins with the boy telling us that his brother Steve (Ethan Philbeck) is a serial killer and proceeds to prove it by showing a bowling bag containing a severed head Steve keeps in his closet. From that dank place we begin a long and tragic journey as Marty tries to understand and cope with this revelation and how it affects every aspect of his life.

Told in a patient and steady pace, FOUND is the type of film fans of flash-bang filmmaking might find somewhat tedious. Personally, I was engrossed the whole way through given the impact of the opening moments, but I could see the way the monotone narration from Marty might be difficult for some to get past. I found Marty’s voice to be undeniably honest and found the lack of energy to indicate the state of shock Marty is in after uncovering this dark secret.

Clocking in at about an hour forty minutes, FOUND could use a bit of an edit here and there as it does drag a bit in the middle, but writer/director Scott Schirmer takes his time fleshing out Marty and his brother Steve and then dissects that relationship once Steve’s secret comes to light, making the longer than usual run time a worthwhile endeavor to follow.

Absolutely nothing will prepare you for the ending which, though it is telegraphed, I still wasn’t prepared for. FOUND is one of those films that will make you say, “There is no fucking way this film is going to go there.” And then, guess what? It fucking goes there.

FOUND hurt me in the final moments like few films have done before. Having gotten to know Marty through the film, you want somehow for him to come out of this unscathed, but Schirmer pulls no punches and never cheats by trying to give some kind of Hollywood ending. The final moments of FOURND will infuriate some, but for me, I admire the courage Schirmer has to venture that far into the abyss. FOUND is a treasure—an awful nightmarish treasure, but a treasure nevertheless.




THE 2013-2014 COUNTDOWN!


#15 – FOUND
#16 – PLUS ONE
#17 – AS ABOVE SO BELOW
#18 – WILLOW CREEK
#19 – MACABRE
#20 – GRAND PIANO
#21 – RIGOR MORTIS
#22 – ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE
#23 – THE MACHINE
#24 – DELIVERY: THE BEAST WITHIN
#25 – THE SACRAMENT
#26 – THE SEASONING HOUSE
#27 – THANATOMORPHOSE
#28 – DEVOURED
#29 – CONTRACTED
#30 – DISCOPATH
#31 – SATURDAY MORNING MYSTERY


M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.

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