Actors: Derek Lee, Clif Prowse
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Run Time: 86 minutes
I was torn in deciding what to reveal in my review of Afflicted, because I greatly admire the marketing team’s restraint in revealing what the film is actually about. The plot description is purposefully vague and the trailer never clarifies exactly what the “affliction” is. On the other hand, this is one of those rare experiences where I was quickly disappointed once I realized what major plot point had remained hidden from the marketing. Personally, I would probably have enjoyed this movie more had I known more about the sub-genre it was going to conform to.
Even dismissing the film’s reliance on a heavily overdone sub-genre, there are additional elements of Afflicted which grow incredibly predictable and cliché due to the found-footage format. Although the restrictions of this style of filmmaking forced filmmakers (and stars) Clif Prowse and Derek Lee to make some cinematography choices which become the highlight of the film, we are also saddled with the usual trope of derivative found-footage dialogue. No matter how carefully these films try and set up the reasons for filming everything, it always reaches a level of absurdity in the third act.
Donning their own names for the roles they play, Clif plays the overly-obsessed video blogger and Derek is his best friend suffering from a potentially deadly condition. They decide to take a year-long journey around the world together, with Clif wearing several cameras at once to document the experience. This journey is quickly stopped short when Derek is attacked by a mysterious woman and left with a particular affliction. All of this premise can grow wearisome rather quickly, and the filmmaker’s solution is to overwhelm the second half of the film with as much bad-ass action as there is over-the-top melodrama. There is also nothing satisfying in terms of a climax, resulting in a weak shouting match instead of a much-needed final action sequence.
The Blu-ray release includes a handful of deleted scenes, as well as two making-of featurettes. The first is behind-the-scenes footage of the filmmaking, while the second is an “Anatomy of the Scene” for the window-jumping sequence.
Entertainment Value: 7.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 5/10