Monday, 15 February 2016


afflicted follows two friends, derek and clif (played by real-life friends derek lee and clif prowse), who decide to quit their jobs and travel the world whilst capturing the whole trip on video. however, their trip is cut short when derek begins to exhibit strange behaviour following an encounter with a mysterious woman in paris.

after a cool, light-hearted intro that instantly makes us like the two characters things soon take a turn for the worse. it's hard not to talk about what type of film this without spoiling it, so if you are really thinking of watching afflicted, and it is worth checking out, you should consider skipping the rest of this review.

basically, this is a vampire film. derek is bitten by a vampire in paris and proceeds to turn over the next few nights. as such, the film follows much the same structure as most vampire/werewolf films. there's the initial panic over having been bitten, then there's the odd behaviour like not being able to eat solid food and cooking in the sunlight, and then there are the unexpected benefits like super strength and speed. there is a catch to the benefits, of course, and we all know what that is.

as a vampire story, afflicted offers nothing new to the genre. guy gets bitten, realises what he is, has to either figure out a way to fix it or learn to live with it. so far, so lost boys, but what's great about afflicted is the way it tells the story. this is a film that uses the found footage format to its full potential and is all the better for doing so. not only is there a good reason for the format being in place but it also never breaks perspective. as the film progresses and derek's powers become more pronounced there are some rather spectacular p.o.v. moments including several rooftop chases in which derek basically leaps tall buildings with a camera attached to his chest. there are some truly breathtaking moments in the action and they are completely unexpected and yet totally in keeping with the world and the characters the filmmakers have established. there is also some really cool effects work in this film and again, the fact that we're watching it on a shaky handheld camera adds to authenticity and impact of those shots.

overall, there is nothing new here in storytelling terms but one thing afflicted certainly does achieve is to justify and show the possibilities of the found footage format. if you're someone who doens't like found footage films particularly then this is the film i'd recommend watching first because it's the closest thing to cinema-as-rollercoaster that you will have seen in the horror genre.

the found footage blogathon will run throughout february in which time i plan to review as many films as possible and maybe throw in a few extras as well. if you'd like to be involved and post your own content, send me a link via twitter with the tag #foundfootageblogathon. i'll retweet your link and will include it in a summary post at the end of the month. you can find a full list of the films i'll be reviewing here.

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