A rather up and down type of film. Emotionally and quality wise. At times you are smiling because of warm nostalgic feelings associated with high school years and then the darkness of bullying, etc. which also often happens during this period of life. The quality of the film seems to replicate that roller coaster reality. Often it is engaging then the next moment it is a little flat with some uneven acting.
Coming of age murder/mystery film directed by Ben Hickernell (A Rising Tide, Backwards) will catch some film fans’ attention as it not your usual combo. Teens involved in murder/mysteries have been a popular combo of late with a show like 13 Reasons Why, but it still is not a typical one. That aspect of What We Found totally works here. As the adults are flopping about like fish out of water, the three main teens are trying to get to the bottom of the disappearance of a female schoolmate.
Holly (Oona Laurence – The Beguiled, Bad Moms), Grant (Julian Shatkin – Chosen) and Marcus (Jordan Hall – first film) have been best friends forever. As Holly and Marcus go off to as freshmen to a new school in Baltimore County, Maryland, which has a reputation as a rough one, Grant, from a well off family, is to start at a posh private school. Though Holly and Marcus make some new friends including the popular Cassie (Giorgia Whigham – from television’s The Punisher), Marcus becomes a target for bullying by tough guy Clay (Brandon Larracuente – from television’s Party of Five), who makes his life rough until Cassie steps in.
Marcus really likes Cassie for what she has done. Especially since they have just met. So when Cassie seems to be caught in the middle of Clay and her boyfriend Brian (Donald Dash – appeared in episodes of Rise and Blue Bloods), Marcus takes notice. Then when Cassie disappears and it seems like the police, led by Captain Hilman (Elizabeth Mitchell – from television’s Lost) and Officer Steven (James Ransone – Sinister 2, It Chapter Two), are at a loss, Holly, Marcus and Grant step in to conduct an investigation of their own.
While camping out one night in the forest they see something which puts them all in danger. But is what they saw what they think they saw? Danger and things that will change them permanently will occur.
Plenty of emotion in a film which seems to set up as a murder/mystery though becomes a little deeper than just that. Plenty of other elements are added like bullying, first love, friendship, single parents, and even domestic abuse. None of these things take away from the main story. Rather they add layers to it.