Travel films always get me. I love seeing the changing landscapes and new cities, and the growth of the characters as they see the world. Afflicted starts as a great travel film. Clif and Derek, best friends since grade eight, set out on a year long around-the-world voyage. Filmmaker Clif also plans to document the entire trip on a travel blog.
After a great start in Barcelona, the duo moves on to Paris to meet up with some friends, and hopefully get lucky. Derek manages to seduce a beautiful French woman, but it soon becomes obvious that she’s interested in him for decidedly non-sexual reasons. From there, both Derek and Afflicted undergo a painful and alarming transformation.
I love a good horror movie. There is no other genre that makes viewers feel the same way characters are feeling on screen. Afflicted is a fantastic horror movie. The use of found footage has been popular seemingly forever, but this film made it logical and somewhat natural. Much of the film takes place in Cinque Terre on the Italian coast, where the supreme beauty of the surroundings contrasts well with the horrors of the film.
More importantly, Clif and Derek are such likeable, sympathetic characters that I wanted to follow their blog. I can’t remember the last time I felt so bad for a movie monster. The fact that the duo are real-life best friends since grade eight adds a bit of charm to the film, as we see hilarious and embarrassing footage of them from their teenage years. The biggest strength of the film is the two men, and how much we care about them before the story even truly begins.
This being their feature debut, there were a couple of hiccups. I found it odd that they didn’t change to a more traditional camera setup sooner, and that they didn’t stop posting the footage to their blog when things turned for the worse. The two have talent as storytellers, but as actors they won’t get much work unless they cast themselves. Still, though, Afflicted is a strong enough film to overcome these obstacles.
As Halloween approaches and we all search for a movie to get us in the spirit, Afflicted should be at the top of everyone’s list.