I’ve had it up to here with found-footage horror films, but directors/writers/stars Derek Lee and Clif Prowse are on to something with Afflicted, a double-edged nail-biter that energizes both the found-footage genre and another horror genre I won’t give away.
Lee and Prowse, playing versions of themselves, are psyched to be taking a worldwide trip together; they plan on documenting it on film. Derek has been diagnosed with some sort of brain problem, but the two soldier on anyway. At one point, they’re determined to get Derek hooked up with a woman in a strange European club. He strikes gold, it seems, and brings a pretty woman home for a night of troublemaking. However, Clif later busts into Derek’s room to discover him beaten and bloody—with no woman in sight.
The two shrug off the incident, but Derek develops some strange, viral symptoms in the coming days that not only threaten their trip, but Derek’s life.
There are some genuinely freaky moments in this film, as well as some solid special effects. The fact that this film didn’t get a large theatrical release is a true sign that the found-footage horror genre has run its course; the producers instead had to settle for a VOD and iTunes campaign.
In many ways, this film represents the best in the found-footage-horror genre. It’s not perfect, feeling a bit like a retread of Chronicle and Quarantine at times, but Lee and Prowse have a certain spark to their filmmaking style that keeps their movie consistently intense and creepy.
The film leaves itself open for a sequel. I wouldn’t mind seeing some further scary adventures from these two.
Afflicted is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.
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This terrifying horror thriller follows two best friends who set out on the trip of a lifetime around the world. Their journey, documented every step of the way, soon takes a dark and unexpected turn after an encounter with a beautiful woman in Paris leaves one of them mysteriously afflicted. Winner: Best Picture (Horror), Best Screenplay (Horror), Best Director (Horror) at Fantastic Fest, and recipient of awards of recognition from the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival. AFFLICTED is one of the most suspenseful and original action horror debuts in a generation.