Best buddies find that tourism sometimes bites in this faux-documentary chiller.
Clif Prowse, Derek Lee (Canada/USA, Midnight Madness)
Monday, September 9, 11:59 p.m.
Ryerson Theatre (43 Gerrard Street East)
Wednesday, September 11, 8:45 p.m.
Scotiabank 9 (259 Richmond Street West)
In the enjoyable but over-familiar horror mockumentary Afflicted, best friends Clif Prowse and Derek Lee (playing themselves) strap on their GoPro video cameras and embark on a year-long journey across Europe with the intention of recording their adventures and sharing them online.
Things take a dark turn when Lee meets a voracious young woman in a Parisian bar and takes her back to a hotel, only to end up beaten and bitten, with no memory of what occurred. Within days, he develops a mysterious infection that gives him super-strength, a thirst for blood, and third-degree burns from the sun—turning the boisterous bro-cation into a gory nightmare.
Afflicted is a polished production with terrific visual effects and some highly charged scares. Lee and Prowse are engaging to watch, and their struggle to stay friends in the face of Derek’s transformation is touching and believable. Unfortunately, the obviousness of Lee’s plight and the constraints of the mock-doc format dilute the film’s effectiveness.