Wednesday, October 29, 2014

30 Days of Nightmares #29: AFFLICTED (2014)

The Story: Two American dudes go on an extended vacation to Europe, and a sexual encounter turns one of them into a monster.

Expectations: The David Cronenberg version of HOSTEL.

Reaction: First of all, a warning.  This is another found footage movie.  Secondly... it's a pretty good one.  Well shot, well edited, surprisingly innovative.  Basically, the two guys featured in the film actually went on an extended vacation to Europe to make this flick, and they obviously had fun doing it.  Their characters are likable and sympathetic.  One of them has a neurological condition that could kill him any minute, which gives their trip meaning beyond the typical spring break in Amsterdam.  I was surprised to find myself thinking, about fifteen minutes into the film, that I would probably watch their story even if it really was a well-meaning documentary and not a horror movie in disguise.  Of course, that's what makes it a good horror movie in disguise. 

Things get gnarly pretty quick.  The dying man hooks up with a woman in Paris and immediately develops symptoms of a mysterious disease.  He refuses to go to the hospital because he fears he might not ever leave.  Soon he's punching through walls, running 40 miles per hour, jumping on top of two-story buildings and pulling his eye out.  WTF?  At first I thought this was a dark version of a superhero myth, which seemed like a pretty cool idea.  Our culture is oversatured with superhero myths -- they're even more prevalent than found footage horror movies -- but none of them seem to seriously consider the fact that mutating into a superhero would be freakin' scary.  The only film that really comes to mind is UNBREAKABLE. 

About halfway through, it becomes clear that this is a vampire movie.  A literal INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, but with a few first-person-shooter video game-worthy action sequences.  From that point on it's fairly predictable... but still fun.

Most Nightmare-Worthy Moment: Did I mention that the guy pulls his eyeball out?

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