Anton Sirius takes a look at TIFF Midnight Madness horror flick AFFLICTED!
Afflicted (2013, directed by Derek Lee and Clif Prowse)
Two long-time friends, Derek and Clif (played, shockingly, by directors Derek and Clif) have decided to travel around the world, with filmmaker Clif posting their globe-hopping adventures online. Starting out in Spain, they hook up with two other friends of theirs who are on tour with their band, and follow along to Paris. Derek, who doesn't have much success with the ladies, seems to get lucky at the band's final gig, but his bros find him unconscious and wounded back in their hotel room. As Clif and Derek continue on to Italy alone, Derek falls ill and finds himself starting to change into something not quite human. Unwilling to abandon his BFF or convince him to return home to Canada, Clif sticks around and decides to document Derek's condition and evolution for as long as he can...
Afflicted, above all, is a testament to the power of good filmmaking. The idea itself is little more than Trank's Chronicle re-cast as a vampire flick (and no, that's not a spoiler – if you didn't figure it out when you see the bite mark on Derek, you would when Clif starts researching the abilities Derek is supposed to possess), but Prowse and Lee's skill at executing that idea turns Afflicted into an amazingly fun horror romp. While it certainly owes something to the found footage genre, it has way more polish than your standard flick built around security cams and first person perspectives. By telling you up front Clif is a filmmaker posting edited footage to a website, they allow themselves the license to do things you wouldn't typically see in a found footage film. Of course once Derek's blood lust starts getting the better of him there isn't much time for editing and post, but even after things gets really hairy the movie does a good job of keeping its conceit intact.
Is it scary? There's a few good jumps in it, mainly built around Clif trying to find Derek after he's disappeared into the night, but Afflicted is more about atmosphere than gore and that's fine with me. This is a movie that has a very good sense of what it wants to be and where it needs to go, and it doesn't get sidetracked trying to appease every possible audience. Really, it's a pretty amazing first feature, and while you might want to dismiss it as gimmicky there's a lot of solid, smart filmmaking going on here. Prowse and Lee are a couple of guys who should be worth keeping a close eye on.
Follow me, and give me audience friends. Cassius, go you onto Twitter. @AntonSirius
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
- Who is in consideration to take the role of Snake in the ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK remake!?! -- 300 total posts 144 posts
- DOCTOR WHO 8.2!! ‘Kelvington’ Reviews This Weekend’s Episode And Says He’s Not Sure He Enjoys ‘What The Show Is Becoming’!! -- 103 total posts 62 posts
- The Fellows Behind The Big-Screen JUMP STREET (And THE LEGO MOVIE And CLONE HIGH) Plan To Reboot Another Steven J. Cannell Series: THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO!! -- 53 total posts 16 posts
- The Friday Docback Crawls ‘Into The Dalek’!! Reader Reaction For DOCTOR WHO S08E02 Is Here!! + HornOrSilk's 'Breaking Bubbles and Other Stories' Big Finish Audio Review, Clips, And More!! -- 101 total posts 15 posts
- Capone says AS ABOVE/SO BELOW uses a chilling location to terrifying effect!!! -- 39 total posts 13 posts
- Amazon To Bring Back Patrick Warburton As Ben Edlund’s TICK?? -- 11 total posts 11 posts
- Will there be a change of roster in Avengers: Age of Ultron and if so, who's gonna be on it? -- 276 total posts 6 posts
- Is this what Doctor Doom looks like in Josh Trank's FANTASTIC FOUR?! -- 287 total posts 5 posts
- Just How Conjoined Is Sarah Paulson In AHS FREAK SHOW?? See For Yourself!! -- 72 total posts 4 posts
- HERCULES ON THE RADIO!! Learn What Ain’t It Cool’s TV Critic Thinks Of Fox's Batman-Free GOTHAM, Woody’s MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, The Final Season Of BOARDWALK EMPIRE, And The Latest MARVEL, DC, STAR WARS & STAR TREK News!! Listen And Call In LIVE Saturday 8pm PT / 11pm ET!! -- 4 total posts 4 posts