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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Afflicted Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
This terrifying horror thriller follows two best friends who set out on the trip of a lifetime around the world. Their journey, documented every step of the way, soon takes a dark and unexpected turn after an encounter with a beautiful woman in Paris leaves one of them mysteriously afflicted. Winner: Best Picture (Horror), Best Screenplay (Horror), Best Director (Horror) at Fantastic Fest, and recipient of awards of recognition from the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival. Afflicted is one of the most suspenseful and original action horror debuts in a generation.
Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Cliff and Derek are best friends who have planned a year-long trip around the world. Shortly before leaving, Derek finds out he has a nerve cluster in his brain that could potentially kill him. He decides to take the trip and doesn't want to regret anything in his life. After preparations and a huge goodbye party, Cliff and Derek head to Spain where they meet up with some friends who are touring with their band. Following Spain, they arrive in Paris where one night, at a bar, Derek meets a beautiful French girl and takes her back to the hotel. Cliff and their musician friends decide to play a prank and interrupt Derek and the girl and burst into the room. However, when they open the door, they find Derek unconscious and bleeding on the bed and the girl is nowhere to be found. 

When he awakes, Cliff wants to take him to the hospital to make sure he’s alright but Derek insists he’s fine. At their next destination, a small coastal town in Italy, Derek begins changing. First, it’s sleeping all day, then Derek is unable to eat, and then gains sensitivity to light. When Cliff realizes that something is really wrong with Derek, he begins testing him – strength, agility, speed – and finds that Derek has all these abilities, and more. As the guys figure out more and more about what’s wrong with Derek, they realize that they could be in danger. When things get completely out of hand and Cliff is injured, Derek resolves to go back to Paris and find the girl who did this to him and find out how to cure himself. Unfortunately, once he finds her, he is told that it’s too late and he needs to accept his new life.

Afflicted is a really cool movie. At first, I wasn’t sure what was happening, but started figuring it out and really liked how the filmmakers told the story. The documentary-style camera work was really good and I liked seeing the friendship between Cliff and Derek. Both Cliff and Derek did a great job as actors, cameramen, writers and all the rest.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
Afflicted’s 1080p high-definition 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation was good. Because it was filmed like a documentary, the camera work is shaky and realistic. Colors and skin tones were natural and shadows were good. The picture was sharp and clear and I didn’t notice and issues with it. Afflicted was good to watch on Blu-ray.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
The English DTS-HD master audio presentation of Afflicted was good. Since it is filmed documentary-style, there are a lot of quiet parts where I had to adjust the volume and then gunshots were really loud and I had to adjust the volume again. Afflicted is also available in Spanish 5.1 with subtitles in English, English SDH and Spanish.
Extras (3 out of 5 stars)

  • Deleted Scenes – Three deleted scenes viewed either individually or with a play all option. These three scenes were interesting because they kind of twisted the story a little. Especially the second one. It had a slightly different outcome than how the scene actually ended up. I liked the scene left in the film better. These were good choices to have left out and to have changed.
  • Behind the Scenes of Afflicted – A four minute look at the film narrated by stars Cliff Prowse and Derek Lee, how it was made, what the ideas were and what it took to film the movie in Europe with the small cast and crew.
  • Anatomy of a Scene: The Window Jump – An almost three minute look at how the scene where Derek jumps out of the window was done.
  • Previews – Previews for upcoming movies The Raid 2, Pompeii, A fighting Man, Delivers Us From Evil and The Last Exorcism 2.
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
Afflicted was a good movie and I enjoyed watching it. The story was suspenseful and fun and little terrifying. I was engrossed in the movie, sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for what came next. I will definitely watch this again and recommend it to other who are looking for a somewhat scary movie to watch. It’s bloody, tense and a little bit stressful, but it was also enjoyable and interesting.

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