REVIEW — “Afflicted”
It’s always a treat when a film can take a tired premise and elevate it into an engaging experience. “Afflicted” is one of those rare movies!
Throughout the past few decades, we’ve been subjected to a surprising number of found footage horror films. With only a few exceptions, each has been more disappointing that the previous, which has lead to a very low standard. The last pleasant surprise in this genre was “Chronicle,” a film “Afflicted” shares many similarities with.
As the film opens, two young friends, Derek and Cliff (playing fictionalized versions of themselves) are preparing to leave town on an epic world trip. It is a trip Derek has always wanted to go on, but a recent terminal diagnosis had pushed him to finally undertake it. His filmmaker friend, Cliff, is accompanying him in an effort to create the “World’s Greatest Travel Blog Ever.” Indeed, the first portion of the movie has Cliff’s production value added to it with some nice editing and graphic overlays (and a terrible royalty-free soundtrack). Unfortunately, as this genre would have it, something happens to Derek and he is “infected.” Exactly how he is infected, and with what, is best left discovered by the viewer. After this point, the humor starts to fade, and fear invades the story.
Considering the genre and the budget, this is an extremely well made film. The script is tight, fun, and believable. (within the circumstances) Even more impressive are some of the camera tricks and special effects employed later in the movie. There are more than one seemingly impossible single take shots that flow so smoothly the audience almost doesn’t notice that what they saw was impossible to film.
A fun, satisfying, ride from start to finish, hopefully this flick will gain the attention and cult following it deserves.
(In limited release and On Demand now.)
If you need further convincing, check out the trailer below. But honestly, you’ll appreciate the movie more without it.