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 good 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. 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 is subsequently 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 after spending the night together begins to find strange injuries on his body that lead to a life-changing transformation. And he begins turning into something rather unpleasant.

I liked this film. I liked it from the moment it started playing. Though it’s found-footage style (usually an Alarm Bell), it is well-made found-footage. Luckily for us, Clif the Best Friend is a documentary maker and one of the goals for 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 guys immediately – they were normal, nice people 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 felt more like a life-affirming documentary, showing how people like Derek ‘never give up’ in the face of adversity. There are interviews, captions, fun music – I almost didn’t want anything bad to happen and I usually hate shit like that.

It kinda made me feel 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.

Happily though, when the scary shit does kick in that’s a lot of fun to watch too. It was a pretty jumpy film and genuinely spooky, tense AND rather uncomfortable to watch in places. And because I did like the characters, unbelievably I actually cared about what happened to Derek. It seemed kind of a shitty thing to have happened after he’d already had a pretty shitty time.

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Of course it’s not perfect, but what film is? As the story progressed there were some scenes that didn’t flow quite as nicely as what they could, some questions left unanswered maybe – but I’m not going to split hairs when I enjoyed it. There are bits that are are slightly ‘unrealistic’ or ‘not what would have happened’ perhaps but a lot of that kind of stuff comes down to opinion anyway.

The small budget doesn’t let down the special effects which I thought were pretty good also, not to mention creepy. It’s all rather a slow process for Derek – though happily not for the audience – because as the title suggests, his icky transformation plays out like a disease.

At first Derek notices more ‘subtle’ changes such as super strength and an aversion to sunlight and spaghetti (gooooood scene – gross), but as the film goes on, the physical changes become more apparent.

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All in all I would 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?).

About emmakwall

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

  1. Pingback: Netflix: What’s Hot for Halloween? | emmakwall (explains it all)

  2. Pingback: The House of the Devil (2009) |

  3. I don’t understand why everyone hates on found footage. Personally, I think seeing as we live in an era where everyone is glued to their smartphones, and nearly everything is filmed, snap chatted or whatever, found footage is very realistic. We all know that we film half our lives even when it’s boring shit. Anyway….

    Love this review! Such an incredible film. I thought the characters worked very well, but most likely due to the fact that they’re genuine friends. But yeah awesome film 🙂 xxx

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Zoe!! I was so pleasantly surprised when I watched this, I had a bit of a Netflix horror purge and watched 3 movies in one night, this was the one that stood out for me the most.

      I loved the guys friendship so much! Immediately I liked their characters and I wasn’t expecting too. Of course it’s not a perfect film but I still thought it was very good especially considering budget etc.

      That’s a very good point about living in an era where everything is filmed. To be honest, are they THAT much different to watch than ‘normal’ films anyway? It all depends on how good the actual story is anyway.

      Have you seen Megan Is Missing? That’s a horrible movie and all played out via youtube, smart phones, web cam etc. But that’s the point, like the one you raised, that’s the era we live in!!!! xxxxxxxx

      • Can’t beat a Netflix horror purge! I need to get myself some flix action! What other films did you watch?
        Yes, the friendship is so genuine and they’re just nice guys. Exactly, no film is perfect, and with that budget it was awesome. The effects were fab. Yeah, not really! The only ones that are reallllyyy different I suppose are the extremely shaky cams, but if you think about it, that’s more realistic, because if i was being chased by a maniac I would not be thinking about shots.
        That’s on my list to watch! Yeah exactly, we all live in a technology ridden world so it makes sense. Have you seen The Den? xxxxxxxxx

  4. GaryGreg828 says:

    Hey, where’s “House of the Devil” review?? 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      Ooh hopefully I can get around to it soon! I must admit Afflicted did strike more of a chord with me so I wanted to review it first.

  5. sweetarchive says:

    I love this review, Emma. I love how much you loved the film, and even though I’m not a horror fan, I’ll try to catch it online. Unfortunately, I don’t have Netflix anymore (sobbing)…

  6. Laura says:

    Emma! Great review. I liked this one. Was pleasantly surprised to see such a good quality found footage horror flick on Netshits, although I did think it lost its way slightly towards the end.

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Laura! Yes I agree, I’m not sure – had I been the writer – I would have gone down the ‘I must find this vampire/woman’ route, it did get a silly in places!! But I did enjoy her explanation at the end, shedding more light on it.

      I was pleasantly surprised too! Best film I’ve seen on Netshits (ha!) in a while 🙂

      • Laura says:

        On balance I think it was good and the two guys were likeable, which is a bonus with this kind of film.

        • emmakwall says:

          That’s the thing I liked most about it in a weird way! 🙂 how likable the two guys were. I was surprised actually, it could have gone either way! But as soon as it began I thought ‘oh my goodness….I really like them!’ I was even laughing at their little jokes 🙂 bless!

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