Afflicted (2013)


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‘Afflicted’ – decent Netflix horror film alert!

Afflicted is a 2013 found-footage horror film. It’s pretty low budget – one of those films where the actors are friends with the director and they use their real first names. In this case the directors, writers and lead actors are the same two guys – Derek Lee and Clif Prowse. And let’s start this on a positive note by saying truthfully – they did a great job.

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Don’t let the found-footage or low budge thing put you off – Afflicted was definitely a good movie and I enjoyed it a lot. The story centres around an American guy called Derek and his best friend Clif (see I told you) who are embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world. We find out that Derek has just been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and so is taking a ‘grab life by the horns’ kind of outlook.

Unfortunately, not that long into their journey Derek kisses the wrong girl in a Parisian nightclub (sounds like the title of an indie song) and has more to contend with than just hairy armpits. After spending the night together Derek finds strange injuries on his body that lead to a life-changing transformation. He begins turning into a vampire……basically.

I really liked this film. I liked it from the moment it started playing. Though it’s a found-footage style of film, it is a well-made found-footage style of film. Luckily for us, Clif the best friend is also a documentary maker and one of the goals of their trip is to make ‘the best travel blog ever’. So there is some semblance of good filming and editing in the footage. It’s actually fun to watch and I liked both Derek and Clif immediately – they were normal, nice guys and I even laughed at some of their jokes.

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At the beginning of the film, which has a very short run-time by the way – around 85 minutes, I had to keep reminding myself I was watching a horror. It feels more like a life-affirming documentary, showing how people like Derek ‘never give up’ even in the face of adversity. There are interviews, captions, fun music – I almost didn’t want anything bad to happen! I felt like I do when I watch The Fly and I really want a happy ending for Seth and Veronica instead of the all gore, maggot babies and protruding wrist bones (that bit is cool though).

Happily though, when the scary shit does start that’s a lot of fun to watch too. It was an incredibly jumpy film and genuinely spooky, tense and rather uncomfortable to watch in places. And I know I just said it but because I liked the characters a lot I actually cared about what happened to Derek. It seemed kind of a shitty thing to have happened really.

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Of course it’s not perfect, but what film is anyway? As the movie progressed there were scenes that didn’t flow quite as nicely as they could have done, some questions left unanswered maybe – but generally I thought it was a good movie and I’m not going to split hairs when I enjoyed it. There are bits you may think are slightly unrealistic or ‘not what would have happened’ but I think Derek and Clif (the real life versions) captured a pretty convincing view on what would happen if you / your best friend were infected with vampire-ism.

The low budget does not let down the special effects which I thought were pretty damn good, not to mention creepy. It’s a rather slow process for Derek – though not for the audience, this film certainly isn’t dull – as the title suggests, his vampire transformation plays out like a disease. At first Derek notices more ‘subtle’ changes such as super strength and an aversion to sunlight and spaghetti (good scene), but as the film goes on of course, the physical changes become more apparent and the effects were impressive. I don’t remember wincing at anything really terrible, put it that way.

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All in all I would highly recommend this film. I watched it on Netflix so if you’re a card-carrying member as well – you’d be silly not to. I found it original, refreshing and a lot of fun. I also jumped a lot and did that thing where you let your eyes go all blurry just in case something scary happens so you can’t quite see it properly (or is that just me?)

I liked Derek and I liked Clif – it’s been a long time since I’ve watched a new horror film where I genuinely feel sorry for the characters and for that reason alone I thought it was pretty damn fine.

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About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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94 Responses to Afflicted (2013)

  1. I met these guys and talked to them about filming and they are amazing!! I worked at TIFF in 2013 and these guys were honestly the nicest people. And I love this movie too!

    • emmakwall says:

      That is so cool!!!!!!!! I love it Mel! 🙂 who else did you meet? What a great experience!

      I really liked both guys IN the movie and I wanted them to be nice guys in real life too! I’m so glad they are 🙂

      Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jordan Dodd says:

    Doesn’t sound like my kinda thang – I hate jump scare movies – but a really well written post Em 🙂 I do like the sound of a -good- found footage film though, is this out on DVD?

    • emmakwall says:

      Oh thanks Jordan you are so kind to me!!!!

      It is out on dvd yes, about a fiver on UK amazon. I did find it pretty jumpy I must say but if you did decide to watch it I hope you would still enjoy it 🙂

      Ball of awesome-ness!!!!

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        I might see if its at Blockbuster. Tho we FINALLY got Netflix down under about a month ago – I have no idea how extensive their library is though.

        • emmakwall says:

          Fingers crossed!!! It’s on UK and US Netflix so hopefully on Down Under Netflix too 😀

          I hope I haven’t built it up too much now!!

          • Jordan Dodd says:

            I haven’t signed up yet. I’m not convinced our dinosaur age internet will be able to stream HD. I know when I stream movies it has to be a lower quality just to avoid ‘buffering’ … ‘buffering’…

  3. ‘did that thing where you let your eyes go all blurry just in case something scary happens so you can’t quite see it properly (or is that just me?)’

    Yes, thats just you!

    I was wanting a subplot where Clif went on a search to find the missing ‘F’ in his name.

    • emmakwall says:

      Haha I thought it might be 🙂

      That missing “F” bugs me too Mikey! I wrote it as Cliff (i.e the CORRECT way) before i saw the spelling on the IMDB.

      🙂

  4. Stellar review Ems! I saw this on Netflii and was going yo skip it, but I think I’ll give it a go 🙂

  5. Hey, nice review.

    I think this has got to go on the list Emma 🙂

  6. beetleypete says:

    I actually quite like some of the ‘found footage’ films, so this isn’t a problem for me. This sounds good, based on your review at least, and as I don’t have Netflix, I will have to wait for the DVD. ( Currently only £5.50 on Amazon!)
    Thanks Emma. Best wishes, Pete.

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Pete!

      I’m not a huge fan but some I enjoy – I do really like Cloverfield for example and I enjoyed this too!

      £5.50 isn’t too bad and sometimes sellers on Amazon sell them even more cheaply second-hand! Good luck and hope you enjoy it 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. theipc says:

    Clam!!!

    You make this sound good but I’ve been so put off by the trailer….. maybe I’ll give it a look sometime : ) I noticed in my Netflx queue yesterday that those The Raid movies are coming my way soon : )

    Love Pen!!

    xxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. vinnieh says:

    Cool review Emma, you always review such interesting movies.

  9. Sounds good and I like found footage films and I have Netflix so I suppose I will have to give this a watch. Cheers on the review!

  10. Ryan says:

    The fact that this is found footage has made this one really hard for me to watch, despite hearing so many great things. Nice review, though, glad it didn’t disappoint!

    • emmakwall says:

      Please do watch it Ryan! I’m not a fan of found-footage either but like I said in the review, the ‘best friend’ character who does all the filming, is actually a documentary maker – in the film. So it’s not shit to watch, it looks decent! I mean yeah towards the end a TAD of suspension belief is necessary but I still really liked it 🙂 more than a lot of other films I’ve watched recently.

      • Ryan says:

        Yeah, the documentary angle works for me actually. The Sacrament was shot the same way and I loved that movie. It’s much more believable when it doesn’t look like the filmed the movie with a potato 🙂

        • emmakwall says:

          Definitely! I mean I’m all for ‘authentic’ but not when you can’t see much haha.

          ONE thing i will say is that towards the end the filming does get more out of hand. Not in a visual way but more in a ‘who is holding the camera now?!’ way. But never mind 🙂

          Don’t watch this on a sunny day though. Some bits were pretty dark (literally) and highlighted my bad dusting on the TV!

          I’ll have to check out The Sacrament 🙂

      • GaryGreg828 says:

        Definitely check out “The Sacrament”. It’s not the best horror movie around, but I liked the tense build-up that leads to an insane final act that’s actually inspired from a true story, which makes this movie truly horrifying and worth a watch.

        • emmakwall says:

          I don’t mind if it’s not the best horror movie around, I’ll give most scary films a whirl! 🙂 Thanks I’ll definitely watch this!

    • GaryGreg828 says:

      Ryan, I’ve seen “Afflicted” and I think it’s your kind of movie. I’m actually surprised you haven’t seen it. Seems right up your alley.

      • Ryan says:

        I know, man. I’ve heard its pretty good. The problem is I just can’t get excited about a found footage movie (even if people say its good). It’s such a lazy and boring way to shoot a movie. I can’t stand it.

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