This terrifying horror thriller follows two best friends who set out on the trip of a lifetime. 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.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Sony Pictures - 2014
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English, English SDH, Spanish
Derek Lee, Clif Prowse, Baya Rehaz, Benjamin Zeitoun, Zach Gray
Written & Directed by:
Derek Lee & Clif Prowse
Edo Van Breemen
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
July 1, 2014
"Captured. On film."
Best friends Derek and Clif set out on the trip of a lifetime. Their plan: to travel to the ends of the earth, see the world, and live life to the fullest. But the trip soon takes a dark and bloody turn. Just days in, after a brief encounter with a beautiful woman, one of the men shows signs of a mysterious affliction which gradually takes over his entire body and being. Now, thousands of miles from home in a foreign land, they must race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely. Footage meant to be travel memories may now become evidence of one of the most shocking discoveries captured on film and perhaps will be their postcard home….
I am admittedly a fan of the found footage horror genre. As such when I saw the press announcement for Afflicted
I was interested. I hadn’t heard of the film but after reading just a little about it I figured it was worth checking out. Shot on a shoestring budget of three hundred thousand dollars by first time filmmakers and life-long pals Derek Lee and Clif Prowse (who also star in it) Afflicted
breaths fresh air into the genre. Not so much because it eschews some of the clichés we often find in such films but because it intelligently shapes the story and characters. It sidesteps the typical supernatural trappings and instead builds first from the bond of friendship between Derek/Clif, then guides you on their trip down the rabbit hole.
It doesn’t go for cheap jump scares but draws you in from a personal perspective as you initially share in and empathize with their plight. As things escalate there is a seamless transference from drama to what I would define as drama/horror/action. From there the continuity of what made the early parts of the story dramatically engaging remain intact while being underscored by the elements of horror and action. The blend works surprisingly well and kept my wife and I locked in from beginning to end. Part of this is owed to the affable likeability of both Lee and Prowse who really give solid performances. The remainder rests in their apt direction and strong choices they made with respect to taking full advantage of their limited resources.
obviously makes use of hand held camera work etc. their implementation is far less “shaky cam” problematic than other films that I have seen. Kudos to young filmmakers Derek Lee and Clif Prowse. I found their feature film debut to be refreshingly entertaining, well executed and a welcomed addition to a genre that needed a boost.
The rating is for disturbing bloody violence and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
Afflicted comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
Being a found footage “documentary” as seen through the eyes of a “video camera”, this film uses both hand held and stationary camera perspectives often switching back and forth. As such many times the video rarely resembles high definition/film although this is intentional and adheres to the thematic tone set by the filmmakers. Conversely there are a handful of shots that look very good and reveal discerning levels of detail and dimension. When appropriate colors are natural, contrast is well balanced and black levels are notable. Shadow detail is quite good as depth of field in the plethora of low level sequences is gratifying. I had no complaints with the stylized video quality which contributed to the source material.
The lossless audio presentation had no trouble conveying the predominantly front loaded elements present in the soundtrack recording. Dialogue reproduction was strong with clear intonation and fair room penetration. The mix did a nice job of handling the various directional cues associated with the hand held camera’s perspective and near field simulation. There is some off camera and atmosphere creating sounds mixed to various points in the sound field and the effect is seamlessly blended. Dynamic range, clarity and bass definition was excellent. This is a solid overall presentation that I had a spooky good with.
- (HD) Afflicted: Behind the scenes – 4 minute featurette
- (HD) Anatomy of a scene: The window jump – 2 minutes
- (HD) 3 deleted scenes
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
The brainchild of first time filmmakers Derek Lee & Clif Prowse, Afflicted
is a refreshingly entertaining, well executed and welcomed addition to the found footage horror genre. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring complimentary high definition audio/video and barebones supplemental package that consists of a few deleted scenes and two brief production featurettes. I really enjoyed Afflicted
and recommend it for genre fans looking for spooky good time on movie night.
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Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
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Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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