Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
We’re not all fortunate enough to be in situations where we can go into a movie completely blind, but that’s how I was able to go into Afflicted. After leaving the movie, I tried recommending it to other Fantastic Fest attendees and couldn’t stop myself from saying, “Well it’s a lot like (this movie), but instead of (this plot device), it’s (this other horror plot device).” Make sense? Probably not. All I’m trying to say is that Afflicted is a movie that I enjoyed but is very similar in tone and structure to another, more well-known film from the past few years, but I don’t want to do Afflicted a disservice by only comparing it to a movie I didn’t like all that much. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that eventually, but I’m sure once you read what the movie’s about, you’ll be able to figure out what movie I’m being so cryptic about. READ MORE
To be honest, I’ve grown exasperated with the whole found footage sub-genre. Don’t get me wrong, there are entries I really dig like The Blair Witch Project, the [Rec] and V/H/S series, as well as a couple from the Paranormal Activity franchise (1 and 3). But like any trend, there’s a point where it gets oversaturated and found footage has definitely passed that point. Writer/Director duo Derek Lee and Clif Prowse are latest to hit the genre’s current fad with their feature debut, Afflicted.
The story is about two best friends that go on a life-changing trip around the world only to find it take an unexpected, dark turn that finds one of them afflicted with a mysterious disease. Thus begins a venture to seek the source of the curse. Lee and Prowse are not only the creative force behind Afflicted but they are the leads as well. Their acting gets the job done…well, until things get serious. Lee and Prowse falter whenever they’re required to reveal the limitations of their chops in the drama department.
There are aspects here that remind me of Chronicle and the V/H/S entry, Amateur Night but to their credit Lee and Prowse give us a neat enough spin on vampires to set it apart from the pack. Like most found footage films, they hit a snag whenever they have to explain why the camera is still rolling especially in the film’s second half. There are moments where a character groaningly tries to justify his reasons to continue on filming. This is especially true following a pivotal moment in which Afflicted shifts direction. It’s during that key spin of events where the film begins to run out of tracks. The plot is just not strong enough to sustain as a feature. The script is lightweight and doesn’t really take us anywhere new.
Hands down, Afflicted’s strongest attribute is its well-devised action set-pieces and FX work. The chase sequences are very creative. There are many bits where you’ll be scratching your head, wondering how a particular shot was executed. The film wowed me with its high-level craftsmanship. It’s the main reason why you’d see Afflicted.
I really wanted to enjoy this film especially since it’s a Canadian genre picture and being a Canadian, I want to support my own. Aside from being undeniably impressive on the technical side, I just found myself disinterested through most of Afflicted…and it only runs 85 minutes long. There’s not enough material here to justify its running time. I think Afflicted would have made a solid 20 minute short. At its conclusion (hardly one to begin with), the filmmakers even attempt to leave the doors open for a potential sequel which is ironic since it doesn’t really hold together on its own.
While everyone always thinks it’s a PR stunt, when an audience member is affected by a genre movie at a film festival, it’s real. From my own experience at least…
THR writes that Afflicted, a found-footage take on the vampire genre, tapped into the Midnight Madness vein Monday night with a world premiere that had audiences jumping out of their seats.
In fact, Afflicted can take the prize for being so intense that one young man became woozy, hyperventilating as he stumbled out of the screening and barely managing to make it to a bench to get himself together, says the site.
All good signs for the debut of Canadian filmmakers Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, who wrote, star in and directed the micro-budget “vampire documentary” about two friends traveling through Europe. Their trip of a lifetime veers into the horror zone when one of them is bitten and gets sicker and sicker.
The movie, already picked up domestically by CBS Films, is said to have shades of Paranormal Activity, [REC] and Chronicle, and offer effective scares.
The movie now heads for its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest, the Austin-based genre film festival that runs Sept. 19-26. READ MORE
Peel back the art and see the brains behind for Clif Prowse and Derek Lee’s Afflicted, premiering at the Midnight Madness portion of the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival.
In the film, “Best friends Derek and Clif set out on a trip of a lifetime. Their plan: travel to the ends of the earth, see the world, and live life to the fullest. But the trip soon takes a dark and bloody turn. Just days in, one of the men shows signs of a mysterious affliction which gradually takes over his entire body and being. Now, thousands of miles from home, in a foreign land, they must race to uncover the source of his illness before it consumes him completely. Footage of their travels meant to document pleasant memories may now become evidence of one of the most shocking discoveries ever captured on film…and may be their only postcard home.”
Clif Prowse, Derek Lee, Edo Van Breemen, Zachary Gray and Baya Rehaz all star in the CBS Films production. Watch for release news soon. READ MORE