Derek and Clif are happy-go-lucky, adventurous friends who are about to embark on a yearlong journey across the world, documenting their travels on film and blogging along the way. These lifelong friends are a dynamic duo and I was intrigued right away. BUT… there is always a but. This is a found footage film. As much as I despise found footage, I thought Afflicted was extremely enjoyable with the authentic performances by the actors and because it feels like a real documentary. And isn’t that the point of found footage? It shouldn’t be used as a way to cut costs. If it fits the story, use it. And in this case it works very well.
The cool thing about this movie is that the main actors also wrote and directed the film, even going as far as using their real names in the film (Derek Lee and Clif Prowse). In the movie, they meet up with friends, old and new, along the way. But the fun and games end when Derek starts getting sick with a noticeable change in his normal zest-for-life personality. What is going on with Derek? Or better yet, what is Derek?? It reminds me of the recent sleeper hit, Spring, since the story sneaks up on you with its unusual approach to the body-horror genre.
The shaky camera can sometimes be annoying, especially when someone is running, but I like the blood splatter on the camera lens technique that is used for gory kills. Afflicted does have some jump-out-at-you moments that are reminiscent of [Rec], but I wouldn’t say this is a scary movie. It works well as a thriller with its solid FX and stunt work. The second half of the film is a little too action-y for my taste but it’s still an admirable first piece of filmmaking for Derek and Clif. The plot is unique, but I wouldn’t say it is groundbreaking. For a first film though, it is impressive and I look forward to seeing what this dynamic duo does next.
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