Afflicted Capsule Review [TIFF 2013]
Please note that this is a capsule review. Our full review is under embargo until the film’s release date, which is TBD.
Afflicted is a low-budget, delightfully novel twist on two otherwise way over-saturated genres (found footage being one, the other is better left unsaid so as not to spoil one of the film’s big reveals), that starts out as a patience-trying travelogue being produced by two best friends on a year-long, round-the-world trip.
Clif (Clif Prowse) is a filmmaker who’s been putting Derek (Derek Lee) in his films since they were kids. When Derek is diagnosed with a brain aneurism that could burst at any time, they decide to take the year to travel to all of the places Derek has ever wanted to visit, filming their progress and posting it on a website where readers can interact with them. While visiting friends in Paris, Derek picks up a girl in a nightclub and takes her back to their hotel. A few hours later, Clif finds him beaten and bloodied on the bed…and from then on, the trip takes a decidedly macabre turn. Derek gets sicker and sicker but refuses to end what may be his last ever chance to see the world.
Prowse and Lee, also the writer/directors, do an admirable job making a film with supernatural elements feel tangible and real. The action sequences consistently look like they’re from a much more expensive film, and the central relationship between the two acts as a grounding force as things begin to escalate – even if there are a few too many making-stupid-decisions-for-
Lee and Prowse are definitely filmmakers to keep your eye on and with Afflicted, they have created an intriguing twist on a genre that's in need of resuscitation.