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Afflicted (2013)

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.


I'm staying spoiler free for this one, because you want to see this blind.

So, I'm not a fan of found footage films. Yes, I like some of them, but I tend to find them a little lifeless in the story. This one is a little different.

The film starts in much the same way that a good number of these type of films do - brief character introductions, followed by the isolation of the main cast. In this case going on vacation. I was...unimpressed with the setup, but the acting is good, it just felt pre-owned, somehow. After this, the plot gets going and the whole film becomes far better, and certainly somewhat surprising.

Storywise, Afflicted runs a gauntlet of surprises. Yes there are films I could liken it too, but that would place spoilers here. It feels like it jumps genres a couple of times - and good it is with it. It is, however, a horror film at its core, and turns out to be a bloody good one. Sometimes, in found footage, characterization is done away with, with the filmmakers deciding that it is not needed in situations where you are living with the cast. It's not true, and can make them bland as all hell. This one works well, with internal conflict between members of the core group, as well as them being likable, and to a certain extent, relateable.

The scares are there, too. With little reliance on jump scares, and some more than impressive effects. The gore is good, and the use of the found footage well executed.

The filmmakers are the stars. Written, directed, and starring Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, it's a low budget labor of love. And it really works. Neither have much experience according to IMDB, with a handful of shorts before hand and nothing since in any category. I can't find anything out about them, and they don't appear to be on social media. Anyway, the acting is pretty good, the direction is spot on, and the writing worthy.

All round, if you are a fan of horror, found footage or not, this one is damn good stuff. I would have loved more from the film makers.

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