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TIFF '13 Review: Afflicted
Low-budget horror from first-time Vancouver filmmakers lacks imagination

This low budget horror flick from a pair of first-time Vancouver filmmakers is clever and smartly produced, but it also suggests that the found-footage style should be put away for a while. Clif Prowse and Derek Lee play versions of themselves in the film, which is posited as a travel blog for Derek’s last trip across the world before an impending brain aneurysm disables him permanently. After Derek brings a girl home after a night on the town in Paris, he’s assaulted and left with strange marks on his body. Clif’s blog, which was originally meant to follow Derek’s travels, becomes a documentation of his supernatural bodily changes. 

The press notes for the film don’t tell you what Derek turns into, so I’ll keep it a secret, but it’s not particularly imaginative. Prowse and Lee are certainly talented behind the camera, but neither of them hare particularly good actors. Lee’s prominence in front of the camera quickly becomes irritating. With or without the found-footage angle, the narrative can’t really hold up. It’s a generic story about naïve young people dealing with some sort of horrific affliction, like Hostel without the edge. In the future, I hope that Prowse and Lee ensure their subject matter is interesting enough to last a full 90 minutes.

Afflicted premiered at the Ryerson Theatre as a part of the Midnight Madness programme on Monday night, but you can catch it tonight at the Scotiabank at 8:45pm.

____

Alan Jones writes about film for Toronto Standard. You can follow him on Twitter at @alanjonesxxxv.

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