Tuesday, October 7, 2014

31 Days of Horror-Day 7: Afflicted (2013)

(dirs. Derek Lee, Clif Prowse )

*First time viewing

     While the horror genre is littered with found-footage films of varying degrees of quality, most haven’t really stepped outside of the supernatural playground. Afflicted offers a little something different in the form of a really solid transformation movie that’s part Chronicle and part An American Werewolf in London. The film follows friends, Derek and Clif on their world travels for their web series. In Paris, Derek goes home with a girl he meets at a club and contracts a disease that turns him into a vampire.

      Like most found-footage films, Afflicted requires some suspension of disbelief at that fact that the characters are still concerned with filming while the shit is hitting the fan. But some impressive effects work and POV scenes more than make up for whatever concerns in logic there may be. Afflicted is one of the best shot found-footage films I’ve seen and Lee and Prowse do an impressive job pulling off triple duty as screenwriters, directors and lead actors. Derek’s transformation is really interesting to watch and the film does a good job of delving into the changes his body undergoes (there’s a particularly gnarly moment involving an eye). The film adds some new layers to vampire lore while also posing some realistic difficulties that help the film avoid some of the usual clichés. Best of all, the film presents vampirism as a frightening form of savagery, breaking away from the gothic depiction.

Scare Factor: 3/5 The film has a few great scares and gross-out moments that are really aided by the POV camera work. Most impressively, the film presents an unneutered version of the vampire that has sadly been missing in movies for quite a while. If you’re looking for a good modern vampire flick check out Afflicted, which is still available at the Redbox.

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