Afflicted (Movie Review)

Afflicted (Movie Review)

Afflicted is a found footage style horror-thriller written and directed by Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, who also star as leads in the film.  Given its world premiere on September 9th, 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival, Afflicted was awarded a special jury citation for Best Canadian First Feature Film.

"Afflicted" still
“Afflicted” still

It’s centered around two young men who have started a web series called “Ends of the Earth” in which they chronicle their travels around the globe and share their experiences with subscribers. Derek, who is in front of the camera, has been advised against the trip by his doctor since he has Arterio-Venous Malformation, an abnormal connection between arteries and veins that could kill him at any moment. He decides to go anyway because he wants to live his life while he can. Derek and his filming partner Clif set out for their first destination: Paris. There they meet up with friends that are in a band and are touring through Europe. Hanging out at a bar, Derek meets a pretty young woman named Audrey and goes up to a room with her to fool around. Clif decides it would be funny and a good opportunity to get some footage for their web series, so he busts in on what he thinks will be his friend having sex, but instead finds Derek badly hurt and with no memory of what happened.

"Afflicted" still
“Afflicted” still

Derek insists they go on with the filming regardless of what happened in Paris, and they continue along to Italy. As they get into town, Derek passes out and sleeps for over twenty-four hours before Clif wakes him up. Upon trying to eat something, Derek throws up heavily and cannot eat anymore. Over the next few days, Derek starts to change before Clif’s eyes and become something impossible. He starts to gain all sorts of abilities that at first the two friends find hilarious and awesome, but as it gets more intense, so does the mood surrounding the two filmmakers. What is it that is afflicting Derek, and can he stop it before he becomes something terrible?

As with most found footage films these days, one of the most important aspects is being creative with what limited capabilities the sub-genre gives viewers. Afflicted is a breath of fresh air in both of its sub-genres, but to reveal what the latter is would be to give away the film.  A very impressive film debut from the rookie directing/writing/acting duo, it uses all elements and moods well while really keeping the pace flowing so the viewer never has the chance to get bored. With a very fast pace that does not rely on false scares and cheap tricks to get a startle out of its audience, Afflicted really has a great tone that gets darker as the characters involved do.

"Afflicted" still.
“Afflicted” still.

Whether viewers like found footage style films or not, this should be well-received by horror fans.  The effects are superb for such a low budget film and they blend in seamlessly with the film. Afflicted does not have much, if any, hokeyness to it which makes the viewer more involved and invested. This is definitely one of the best found footage films out today, and it should be picked up as soon as possible. CrypticRock gives Afflicted 5 out of 5 stars.

afflicted movie poster
CBS Films

Purchase Afflicted on DVD on Amazon

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Jason M Smith
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Jason M. Smith has been a horror fanatic for twenty seven years when he was first introduced to John Carpenter’s Halloween at the very tender and impressionable age of five. From there he became a horror film junkie and has dedicated a good portion of his life to watching, finding, discussing and eventually reviewing any and every horror film he could get his hands on. His roots are in slasher films but through the years has acquired a taste for all sub genres of horror and film in general. Recently he became the father of twin girls that are his pride and joy but he still finds time to sneak in his other passions which is watching film and writing screenplays. This is the first site that he has ever written for and is excited to work with other talented writers and to recommend some great films to fans.

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