Afflicted: a Review

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I went to the theatre last weekend to watch this movie with my husband and youngest daughter . It was my husband’s idea; I really hadn’t’ heard much about this film beforehand. We all like horror and my husband heard some good buzz about this low budget found footage film.

The movie followed 2 men, BFFs Clif and Derek as they video blogged their trip to the ends of the earth, sought adventure and lived life to the fullest. This trip was on the heels of Derek’s diagnosis of an arteriovenous malformation in his brain. Click on the link if you want to know more medical details about this condition or be assured that it is similar to an aneurysm and it can blow at any time and kill Derek if left untreated. Why he did not get it treated remained unclear. I mean they were clearly Canadian and thus had health insurance, but that is just one of several plot holes that was best to ignore.

This dream trip turned into a shaky-cam nightmare when Derek was found bleeding and unconscious after a one-night (technically 1/2 a night) stand. Because the lady vanished (don’t ask why, see plot holes above) we were left trying to figure out what happened along with everyone else in the film. Derek began to feel unwell, violently and publicly. And then he changed; afflicted with some bizarre disease that left him in an altered state, craving human blood. His BFF Clif dutifully filmed it as he tried to help his friend. They decide to track down the woman, whom they believe did this, for some answers and a cure. Easier said than done! However, having a few more plot holes along the way did help.

Despite the narrative holes, my husband and I enjoyed this horror film of the found footage kind. As this technique that can induce nausea, it clearly isn’t for every one. It was more gross out/disgusting than suspenseful/scary. I enjoyed it a lot more than the grand daddy of the genre The Blair Witch Project, probably because stuff actually happened. My daughter became nauseated; it was hard to tell if it was due to bodily fluids being expelled (hasn’t been a problem in the past) or if it was the shaky-cam style. I suspect it was the latter. It was a film that made good use of a limited budget. The action and CGI sequences were well executed and not too long. The final scene surprised me despite realizing afterward how inevitable it was. Overwhelming nausea left my daughter unimpressed. Her dad took her to see Oculus the following weekend and he redeemed himself in her eyes.

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