Arriving on DVD after picking up some very healthy buzz on the festival circuit, Afflicted is a film that finally, at long, long last, delivers something fresh in the found footage arena.

Mixing up vampires, gory violence and some Chronicle-esque superpower scenes, the film is certainly not perfect, but is a refreshing change of pace from the overdone ‘documentary crew visit spooky location’ routine.

The film follows Derek Lee and Clif Prowse (who also co-direct and co-write), a couple of good friends who decide to quit their jobs and head on a year-long round-the-world trip after Derek is diagnosed with a serious brain issue.

Clif turns out to be a bit of a whiz on the camera front, enabling the whole trip to be filmed and uploaded to a blog the pair establish to allow family and friends to keep tabs on their whereabouts.

Kicking off in Barcelona, the duo then move on to Paris, where the seemingly shy Derek ends up heading back to his hotel room with the sultry Audrey (Baya Rehaz).

But this is where things go horribly wrong though, as Clif finds his friend the next morning passed out on his bed, covered in bloody bite marks.

Before you know it, Derek is spewing his guts out, jumping buildings and has developed a taste for blood – fresh blood of course.

Things get even worse from there, as the pair try to find out just what has happened to Derek – and if there is any way of returning him to his normal self…..

The first big plus point is that both Derek and Clif are likeable individuals, immediately removing the ‘I can’t wait for him/her to die’ trope so prevalent in the genre.

Sure, Derek’s behaviour alters dramatically during the course of the film, but never so much that you completely lose sympathy.

The camera-work makes sense in the main, but there is still a handful of ‘surely you would put the camera down and just run at this point’ moments, which I’m pretty sure will beset every found footage film, now and in the future.

The effects are excellent for such an obviously low-budget film, from Derek’s physical transformation to the scenes of him moving cars, throwing people through the air, breaking walls and suchlike.

Shooting the film in Europe is also a nice touch, allowing Lee and Prowse to utilise some pretty impressive locations, which all look great on screen.

On the negative side, the pacing of the film is slightly skewed, with a great opening half merged with a second section that goes round in the circles before getting to the climax.

But that in no way detracts from a film that hits the spot in the main, while also marking out Lee and Prowse as ones to keep an eye on.

 

DVD Review: Afflicted
A much-needed variation on the found-footage format
The Good
  • Likeable leads
  • Interesting storyline
  • Great effects work
The Bad
  • Second half could have been tightened
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.