Whenever you take two guys, and the pour their life savings into a movie, I'm going to give it a thumbs up. But this particular thumbs up isn't a sympathy vote at all. I really enjoyed where these guys took this movie. It was a ton of fun. Really exciting to the very last.
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I’m an outspoken fan of the movie Chronicle. It’s not a widely known movie. In fact, if you haven’t heard of it (I wouldn’t be too surprised) you can watch it on Amazon, Google, or Vudu. But if you have seen Chronicle, and you did enjoy it, then Afflicted is right up your alley. I mean, 100% up your alley. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s get to talking about why I’m afflicted by the movie Afflicted and that ending.
The first thing you have to know about Afflicted going in, is that it’s low budget. The second thing you need to know is that it is 100% a found footage film. If you don’t like either of those two things – just move along. Go watch a Marvel movie or something. (He says disdainfully.) But the setup for both conditions (dude, pay attention, I’m talking about the cheap movie thing and the found footage thing) actually is probably one of the best, and most logical setups I have ever seen. Two friends decide to create a travel vlog of their year around the world. Something that they’ve been talking about forever. Only problem with this? Is that one of them is bitten by a vampire at the outset of the trip. Right. Kinda throws the whole vlog idea up in the air, I KNOW! Gah. But it all works. Trust me. It works very well. Don’t buy what I’m selling? Then trailer it.
See? Pretty tight little movie. Tight little idea. So yeah, if you are dying to see it and haven’t, then mail me ten bucks and I’ll send you a copy. NO! THAT’S ILLEGAL! hahahah. But you can have a non-monetized links (notice that? I don’t affiliate. No affiliate links here at all. And, oh baby, I could affiliate the HECK out of this site.) to the free Amazon Prime location right here.
Quick Afflicted Movie Walkthrough
Buddies, Clif Prowse (played by Clif Prowse) and Derek Lee (played by Derek Lee…uh, please tell me that you see what is happening here. Yes?) have been dying to make a film their entire lives. (No really, they have. Both of them, the fiction buddies, and the real life buddies.) So they decide to travel around the world and film their 365 days of travel. But it is ultimately Derek’s last wish as he has an AVM, and could die at any moment.
After arriving in Barcelona, Clif and Derek join up with some old friends of theirs who are in a band. Derek ends up connecting with a woman – who he tells about his AVM. (Important?) Only to have Clif find him later bloody, and unconscious. Oh, and Audrey? Yeah, she’s long gone. And we all know that Derek has now been bitten by a vampire. I mean, you do if you knew absolutely anything at all about this movie going in. If you had no idea, good for you! Regardless, Derek isn’t doing great. Once Clif and Derek make it to Italy, Derek sleeps a day or two. Upon waking up, Derek trips to get some pasta down, but then projectile vomits it across the restaurant. Soon after, he reacts to sunlight with third-degree burns. When Clif attempts to assuage Derek’s fears, Derek explodes in a rage, and punches clean through a cement wall. It’s then that the two begin to realize that something weird is happening with Derek.
That is when Derek and Clif play with the limits of what it is that Derek can and can’t do. Breaking boulders. Climbing buildings. But Derek is going crazy with hunger. He decides that he does in fact need to go to the hospital, but on the way, they are both almost hit by a car. Derek completely trashes the angry driver, as well as the passenger. And afterwards, smelling their blood on his hands, he licks the blood off. That is when Clif figures out that Derek is now a vampire. Derek begins trying the blood of various animals, and blood from a butcher. Nope. None of that works. Each time it makes him sicker. Clif tries to give Derek some of his own blood, but Derek has escaped and run out into the city. When Clif goes looking for him, the out-of- his-mind Derek kills his friend. Realizing what he’s done, Derek shoots himself in the head. But no, it won’t work that easily Derek. The only remaining trace of his suicide attempt is a small scar.
Interpol, having finally tracked Derek down, attempt to take him into custody. But Derek flees out into the daylight. Running for it, Derek heads back to France, in the hope of finding answers from Audrey if he can. Getting Audrey’s cell phone that was left at the hotel after the attack, Derek texts everyone in her phone in an attempt to learn more. He connects with a guy, and convinces him to meet. When Derek arrives, he finds a nasty bloodstained saw, and an old photo of Audrey. And when Derek is attacked from behind he just uses his supernatural strength to tie up his attacker. Live streaming his hostage, he knows that eventually Audrey will see the stream and come.
The man that Derek has trapped is a Maurice Behar. And this guy happens to be bitter with Audrey for never turning him. I mean, why Derek and not me!? But before Derek can really grapple with this, the GIGN (basically the GIGN are a French SWAT police force.) attack. Derek is shot to pieces, but he then goes insane, slaughtering anyone nearby. And with that, Derek escapes again. Audrey finds him then, and tells him never to come near her or Maurice ever again. She then informs him that he isn’t feeding appropriately. He needs to feed every four or five days. That he needs to kill discriminately. And the final thing that she tells him is that there is no cure – that if there was a cure, she would have cured herself. The two fight when Derek lashes out – but he is easily overpowered by Audrey, the much older and more experienced vampire.
As the movie winds down, Derek posts his final online entry. He explains that he will not be contacting his family ever again. After, we see Derek feeding on a pedophile. Roll Credits – but a few minutes into the credits we see that Clif is actually still in Italy feeding on a teenage boy and girl.
About the Afflicted Ending
The first time I watched the Afflicted, I didn’t stay through the credits at all. So, step one in discussing the ending, is making sure you saw it. And that requires a minute of patience through the credits. And that is when we learn the biggest twist of the movie, which is that our two leads, Derek and Clif, are not separated with Derek killing Clif. We had a movie about a dream for two friends – and we see it dashed with Clif’s death. But when we learn of Clif’s surviving, it changes everything. This revelation makes the movie way more about the power of friendship, mistakes, and forgiveness, knowing that Clif is still “alive.”
The Making of Afflicted
More importantly than the movie itself, is Clif and Derek’s drive to take their long standing love of hobbyist film making and turning it into a really fantastic full length film. The two of them wrote the film…they acted in it, and they are for real, real life best friends! This is a case of film making merging 100% with reality. I mean, did you guys realize that Derek’s family played the part of the objecting, concerned and loving counterpoint to their excitement? Heck, even the extras were friends of the duo. When asked about these truisms, the two of them always respond with something similar to this response by Derek out at Collider:
DEREK LEE: “We saw Desperado by Robert Rodriguez and we thought it was the greatest thing in cinematic history so we started doing spoofs of that where we all played fake Mexicans and beat each other up. Then I guess right around college Clif started volunteering in films as a PA, just to get whatever job he could get. He called me up one summer and he was like, “Hey, you want to make another movie?” And I was like, “Yeah, sure.” He’s like, “Yeah, but let’s make a real movie.” I said, “What does that mean?” He’s like, “Do you have any money?” And [I did], so we put together some cash and we shot a film on 16mm. It occurred to Clif long before me that we could actually do this for a living eventually, so then four short films later, which each got bigger and bigger and bigger and more wild – to the point where our last short film was like a 70 person crew, three cameras, stunt rigging, the whole nine yards. That’s the point where we were felt we gone as far as we need to with short films. I mean, you can always do more, but it was kind of the point where we needed to dip into the feature film world in order to make a real splash. We eventually came up with this idea that we could shoot for an amount of money we could raise ourselves and it ended up working out [Laughs].”
They actually wrote a screenplay for a Bourne-esque sort of a movie. But they knew that they needed to be successful with something smaller. And that was where they came up with the idea of taking two different overused tropes and combining them into a fresh perspective. And those two vantage points were Found Footage, and Vampires. Both tired. But together, they got excited about the possibilities. And I’m going to agree. It was the practicality of this film. The rubber meeting the road of it that was so good. Two friends, a travel video, and an accidental vampire encounter. It was compelling. What would you do? How would you figure this thing out?
Afflicted Thoughts and Ideas
The reason vampire films will always be interesting, is because we all fear death. We worry about stepping through the door at the end of our lives, and seeing what is on the other side. So we conjecture…what would it be like if we could practically make a deal with the devil to avoid stepping through that door? Would it be worth it? Would eternal life really be all that it was cracked up to be? And would we, if we could make ourselves gods, really revel in it at the end of the day? Or would we instantly regret it?
But this question is mired in a deeper theological, philosophical, conundrum dealing with humans and their position in relation to our creator. Should we stand with our chins held high, and our backs rigid in opposition to this supposed creator? Or does he not exist at all? Right now, in the comfort of your couch, or desk, or your car, with your death the last thing on your mind, you scoff at this question I’m posing to you. But why do you think so many movies are made about the supernatural? Why do you think we are so obsessed with our mortality, and our attempts at avoiding the unavoidable? Because, whether or not I am right – and there is a God, the question nags. It’s such an unknowable question. And out pour the scientists, BUT! But I don’t care how much science you pour on the table, it will always come down to a question of faith. You and your faith in the science. And me and my faith in a creator.
Everyone calm down. I’m not trying to brainwash anyone! hahah. Shhh. Take a deep breath. I’m just pointing out that the reason we love movies about immortality is because of these nagging fears. Chalk me up as a fanatic. That is fine. I’m OK being marginalized! hahah. I mean, look at this site! I do nothing but espouse marginalized ideas. The point I am making here is that, like most horror films, they work because they attempt to tap into a much much deeper nerve of doubt, and fear. Sure, of being murdered by a chainsaw massacre. But more importantly, a fear, and a loathing of our own demise. Stepping off the end of that gangplank means – what? What will happen next??!?
And mainly, I just want us all to acknowledge that the question even exists. It’s movies like this, if they cause us howling fantods in the grappling with it, then we are all the better for it.
Edited by: CY
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