Afflicted, a film by Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, is technically a found-footage movie but don’t let that stop you. It doesn’t have shaky-cam scenes or extreme close-ups like in The Blair Witch Project. I was pleasantly surprised by this 85 minute film. It is the first feature length film by Actor and Director team Derek Lee and Clif Prowse and won the Toronto International Film Festival award for Best Canadian First feature film.
The less you know going into the film, the better. Lee and Prowse play best friends who go on a year long journey around the world and they film everything and post it on a travel blog they call “The Ends of the Earth”. Lee has a brain aneurysm that could pop at anytime and will shorten his life, so there is a sense of urgency to their travels. After a one night stand in Paris, Lee begins to feel ill and so the friends record all the new and alarming symptoms on video. Lee is pleased to find that there are some perks to his new illness. The trip eventually turns into a quest to find the woman Lee hooked up with.
There is much more to the plot, but the less you know, the better. The film features gorgeous scenery in Barcelona, Paris and a vineyard village in Italy. The special effects are well done, quite gory yet very realistic and the filmmakers effectively capture the feelings of helplessness and despair.
My only issue with it would be that twice it relies on the cliched shot of something rushing the camera as if it were coming at the viewer. In addition, Prowse asks Lee way too many times if he is ok, when we can clearly see that he is not. These flaws do not, however, take away much from the film. I highly recommend this, as its a refreshing take on horror. It can’t really be pigeonholed into one category and it evolves throughout in terms of what the film makes the viewer feel and think. Surprisingly it did not get many high ratings on IMDB but I think that is because viewers and horror fans in particular have become too used to formulaic plots and scares. I’d love to hear feedback on how others liked the film. I plan on keeping a close eye out for this duo and what they make in the future.