One thing I’m kind of digging about Hulu these days is that you can find a decent number of really low-budget, truly “indie” horror flicks on there (the rights to which were probably secured at sub-fire sale prices) that Netflix wouldn’t touch in a million years. Granted, most of these are every bit as amateurish as you’d expect, but that doesn’t always mean that they’re necessarily bad. Case in point : director Andy Palmer’s Colorado-lensed 2014 effort, Find Me.
This is obviously a get-some-friends-together-in-front-of-the-camera affair, given that co-stars Cameron Bender and Kathryn Lyn are credited as co-screenwriters along with Palmer himself, and as ghost stories go it’s nothing beyond the standard, plot-wise : newlyweds Tim (Bender) and Emily (Lyn) are starting a new life in the unnamed small town where Emily grew up. Tim’s landed a gig as a teacher at he local high school and Emily’s still looking for work, but hey, they’ve managed to score a nice little “starter house” for themselves, her old best friend Claire (played by Rachelle Dimaria) is still around — things aren’t looking so bad, all in all. Except for the fact that the place is, ya know, haunted and all. So right off the bat you know that execution is going to be what matters most here, because originality is something they probably can’t even afford to try. And that, fortunately, is where Find Me manages to stand out above most of its peers.
The malevolent presence destined to fuck up everyone’s lives makes itself known pretty early on here, but the movie doesn’t sustain that quick pace for very long, and soon enough you could be forgiven for thinking you’re watching some sort of wanna-be art film, given the amount of time that’s devoted to talented-if-amateur cinematographer Josh Gibson’s contemplative views of melting icicles, bleak midwinter landscapes and the like. This gives Palmer and company time to establish some pretty firm characterization for all the principles involved, but if you’re looking for our resident entity to graduate from simple bumps in the night to full-blown violent attacks in short order, you’re bound to feel a bit disappointed. I’m not griping — much — because it’s all reasonably effective and the actors, while far from professional, are good enough to carry most of the weight of the production on their shoulders. but for those afflicted with short attention spans, Find Me may prove to be a bit of a rough slog. Fair warning.
I’ll tell you what, though, once things really do get moving, it proves to be worth the wait — there’s a double-whammy of secrets going on here, with both the history of the house itself as well as buried memories from Emily’s past factoring into who it is that’s haunting the couple and why, so if you’re into satisfying payoffs, this is a film that definitely has ’em for you on multiple fronts. None of it amounts to anything tremendously groundbreaking, it’s more than fair to say, but it’s all handled in immensely believable fashion and you won’t feel in any way cheated by this flick the way you do by 75% or more of the horror offerings out there these days. For that reason alone, I’m sort of tempted to say that Find Me is worth watching at least once. Are my standards incredibly low? Well, sure — the name of this site isn’t “Quality Films Guru,” after all. But Palmer manages to deliver far more than anybody can realistically expect from a production this obviously (and, it has to be said, charmingly) modest, so major props to him for that.
To the best of my knowledge, this was never released on DVD or Blu-ray — at least not yet — but no matter, it’s not strong enough for me to recommend purchasing it even if it were. But if you’re home some night with nothing else to do and there ain’t a damn thing worth watching on TV — which, let’s be honest, is usually the case — you could do a lot worse things with 85 minutes of your life than give Find Me a go. There’s a sizable amount of heart on competence on display here, and if nobody involved with it either in front of or behind the camera should feel anything but pride for what they’ve accomplished.
How many multi-million-dollar Hollywood horror productions can you honestly say that about?