MPAA Classification: R
Directors: Derek Lee & Clif Prowse
Starring: Derek Lee, Clif Prowse, Michael Gill, Baya Rehaz, Jason Lee
Afflicted is a horror release in the found footage genre, a genre that is typically dismissed by horror fans as the badly-done shaky camera style of cinema. This genre certainly has its badly-made movies but it is still viable, so can filmmakers still make good, relevant films using this method?
Afflicted can hold its own with any of the better found footage films any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The basic plot runs like this – two friends decide to take an around-the-world tour and video blog every second of it. One of the friends has some blood vessel abnormalities and sees this as his last chance to go around the globe. Friend A tries to get sick friend B laid and friend B accidentally picks someone to score with who has a secret. A simple plot to be sure, but in the hands of good filmmakers even a simple plot can result in a great piece of work.
Some real high points of this film are the fact that all of the found footage we are seeing, or at least most of it, is posted to the two friends’ public video blog, and a few scenes show some comments their friends and followers were leaving to the blog; well done Mr. Prowse and Mr. Lee, who not only wrote and directed but starred in the film as well. This tends to follow the movie Chronicles in its style of cinematography and uses the blueprint from The Blair Witch Project, and it works, the lack of a big Hollywood budget meaning the film has to rely on a good script, acting and direction, and luckily for us fans it has all three things. The acting comes across as honest and backed by true emotion, something that is lacking in many of today’s mainstream movies. Lee and Prowse took a viable style of film and applied sound writing and acting, resulting in a great tale that you get emotionally invested in, and that investment is a sign of quality work. When you are at a movie and only look forward to the end credits, that is not a worthy investment so when any filmmaker gets the audience to make that connection it becomes something special. Prowse and Lee have managed that here.
In the end, Afflicted latches on to a great formula and, rather than beat it like a deceased equine, they develop a nicely crafted plot and then deliver a filmmaking standard worthy of not just found footage but any horror movie. With this cinematic style appearing to be on a ventilator commercially, Afflicted could very well be one of the films that can resurrect this Lazarus of genres. If you love a good indie horror flick and found footage films this one is for you as it is a superb example of what dedicated writers, directors and actors can do when given a chance. This may single-handedly show the world that found footage is still a technique worthy of future films.
US Release Date: 1st July 2014
Special Features: Behind the Scenes of Afflicted featurette, Anatomy of a Scene: The Window Jump featurette, deleted scenes.