The following trailer is NSFW, as in "not safe for whiny-babies who complain about found footage movies any time they’re mentioned." It’s perfectly safe for work, though.

Some people have problems with going abroad due to things like language barriers or a fear of flying. Few people bring up worries about being seduced and bedded by a sexy vampiric creature, because that just seems silly. But that’s not the case in Afflicted, the upcoming faux documentary horror from filmmaking duo Derek Lee and Chris Prowse, making their feature debut. They’ve allayed any potential problems between directors, writers and stars by taking on all three of those roles themselves. As seen by the thriller's wildly enjoyable first trailer above, we probably won't see these guys taking home any acting awards, but their vision has already made them winners on the festival circuit.

Taking the "Lookit, I’ve got powers now!" angle that made Chronicle an interesting film, Afflicted looks more like a segment from the V/H/S/2 anthology. Lee and Prowse play themselves as two best friends who plan a huge trip abroad, with a plan to document the entire affair via a travel blog they set up. Things don’t take a turn for the worse so much as they just start out terrible, as the reverse-order trailer shows us the very first entry is when Prowse and some other guys find Lee unconscious in bed and wounded in several places.

But it’s everything that comes before that drawing my interest. Whatever the girl did to Lee made him strong, fast, and able to leap from small building to small building in a single bound. I can’t really bring myself to believe these guys actually recorded 206 entries, as no one would continue recording at that point, and I seriously doubt they’re taking hours at a time to recharge these camera batteries. But it looks like Lee might have the power to suspend my disbelief for 90 minutes.

In the Horror section of Austin’s annual genre-infused Fantastic Fest in 2013, Afflicted took home the prizes for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and the directing pair shared the Best Director honor. That’s pretty incredible at a festival that focuses a lot of its attention on horror. And I kind of thought it was a fluke until this trailer debuted and knocked my socks off with mysterious super-powered strength.

I certainly hope the best bits weren’t shown here, and that more stunts are utilized, like that awesome shot of whichever guy leaping out of that building. Admittedly, this is where found footage should have been for years, putting viewers into the shoes not only of people freaking out inside a tent in the woods, but also doing the over-the-top shit that traditional horrors and thrillers have been doing for years. It’s always interesting to watch characters in movies do things like scale walls and throw people around like ragdolls, but it’s intensified from the first-person POV when it isn’t slowed down or shown from 12 different angles.

This sub-genre has been diluted by a plethora of shoddily-made features that mistook low-budget for low-imagination. Afflicted may not end up being the instant classic that reminds us why people jumped on this bandwagon in the first place, but at least it made me think it could for about a minute of this trailer.

afflicted poster

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