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Film / Afflicted

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A 2013 Canadian Found Footage horror film, directed by and starring Clif Prowse and Derek Lee. It revolves around two friends who go abroad on a trip of a lifetime to film a travel documentary and have fun, but their trip is interrupted when one of them contracts a mysterious disease after sleeping with a woman he meets in Paris. The disease grants him superhuman abilities, but also slowly starts to erode his humanity and substantially changes his diet, leading to a race to find a way to cure him before itís too late.

Contains examples of:

  • Anti-Villain: Audrey, as it turns out. She doesnít really seem to be a bad person Ė sheís merely trying to survive. She follows a moral code when choosing victims and chose Derek because he was already dying of AVM, saying she thought she was being merciful. She didnít intend to make him a vampire and sincerely apologises for what she did, trying to give him advice on how to cope with his condition.
  • Asshole Victim: Audrey suggests that Derek kill these people, or people already dying. Derek seems to take this advice, as in the end he is shown killing a child molester.
  • Back to Front: The theatrical trailer is presented like this - as a series of vlog entries in reverse chronology.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There's a lot of these, as the film is mainly set in Italy and France. A female paramedic says to Derek: "chi cazzo sei?" (literally, who the fuck are you?)
  • Black Eyes of Evil: As part of his transformation, Derek's eyes adjust instantly to darkness by hyperdilating, resulting in this trope.
  • Blessed with Suck: Derek initially thinks his affliction is fine; it doesnít really affect him much besides being unable to out into the sun and he develops cool powers. Then he realises he canít eat normal food anymore and things quickly go downhill. Worse still, it's virtually impossible for a vampire to die: you can be horribly wounded and be made to suffer through everything eternity can throw at you, but sooner or later, you'll just get up and walk on - no matter how sick of things you are.
  • Body Horror: Inherent in the nastier points in Derek's transformation. Comparatively early on, his newly-mutated eyes spontaneously reject his contact lenses in a particularly gruesome fashion, forcing him to rip them out one at a time before they become a problem. Later, Derek's body begins contorting hideously as he grows closer and closer to starvation, developing Tainted Veins and Blank White Eyes, even frothing at the mouth at one point. Finally, deliberately exposing his arm to sunlight results in all the skin peeling off, revealing that the muscle beneath is starting to bubble and burn as he cooks from the inside. After the big chase scene through Vernazza, Derek is left in the sunlight for so long that he can't show his face on camera until after he's out of Italy and almost fully healed - though judging by the screams from passing tourists during the chase, the burns were particularly hideous.
  • Break the Comedian: Derek and Clif are pretty light-hearted guys and can usually be found trading jokes and being smartasses. However, when Derek begins transforming into a vampire, their ability to make light of the situation is soon pushed to the absolute limit by the effort of dealing with his growing appetites and chronic aversion to light; in particular, Derek's jokes start to sound really tortured around the time he has to start committing serious crimes in pursuit of his goals. By the end, both men have been completely broken by their ordeal: Derek has found that he cannot be cured and is now forced to live out his days feeding on criminals, while Clif is reborn as a frenzied vampire who may not even be able to think, much less speak.
  • Camera Abuse: The final showdown between Audrey and Derek results in the camera getting a cracked lens.
  • Cop Killer: Derek accidentally kills one by throwing him a far distance off a roof top, then slaughters an entire GIGN team when he goes into a blood frenzy.
  • Downfall by Sex: Derek hooks up with Audrey, a woman he meets in Paris and nearly dies after she attacks him. Afterwards, he begins showing symptoms of vampirism, having contracted it from her, which in turn leads to a lot of other people dying horribly.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: A not-uncommon consequence of Derek's new superstrength; he initially discovers it after losing his temper and punching a massive hole in a wall, which he initially attributes to the mortar being old and crumbly - up until Clif proves that he can shatter the bricks with his bare hands. Played much darker when Derek accidentally flings a cop off the side of a building.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A guy on vacation in a foreign country has sex with a random woman he meets and as a result contracts a life-threatening disease. (Although technically, itís not the sex itself that caused him to become infected).
  • Downer Ending: Derek is stuck as a vampire, can never go home and see his family and must feed on humans every five days or heíll go into a bloodlust. On the plus side, he chooses to kill Asshole Victims, so heís still moral, and his AVM is cured. The Stinger could also provide something of a Bittersweet Ending, as it reveals Clif is a vampire too, meaning that he and Derek could probably find each other and be undead together.
  • Driven to Suicide: After coming back to his senses and realising he unknowingly killed his best friend, Derek puts a shotgun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. However, as it turns out, vampires arenít so easy to kill. Audrey later reveals that it's just about impossible for vampires to commit suicide thanks to their powerful healing factor, a fact that she presumably has firsthand experience of.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Audrey's true age is revealed when Derek breaks into Maurice Behar's apartment and discovers an antique photograph of Audrey - alongside a photograph of Maurice as a child.
  • Eye Scream: Partway through his transformation, Derek's eyes begin rejecting his contact lenses and has to physically remove them, complete with disturbingly viscous webbing. The experience is so frightening that a panic-stricken Derek has to ask if he just ripped out his actual eyeballs.
  • Foreshadowing: Derekís cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which he mentions to Audrey when flirting with her. It later turns out she knew he was dying of it, which is why she chose to feed off him, thinking she could Mercy Kill him.
  • Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire: Audrey seems to aspire to be this as much as possible, namely by only feeding on criminals or the terminally ill and refusing to create any more vampires. Derek tries to be this as well.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Derek gains incredible regenerative abilities as a result of his transformation, and the plot doles out a lot of punishment for him. In order of appearance, he gets fried in the sun, shoots himself in the head with a shotgun, gets fried in the sunlight again while being repeatedly shot by police, and finishes up by getting impaled through the chest by Audrey.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners / True Companions: Derek and Clif. Theyíre travelling together to film a web series, which may be Derekís last chance to do so because of his AVM, Clif does everything in his power to help Derek after he becomes a vampire, including helping him try and rob an ambulance and cutting his own wrist so Derek can feed on his blood, whilst Derek is so distraught upon learning he accidentally killed Clif he attempts suicide.
  • Horror Hunger: Derek starts thirsting for blood, specifically human blood. He vomits up everything else and itís not pretty if he doesnít get enough blood (as poor Clif finds out).
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Derek is not very happy with Audrey for making him a vampire and attempts to attack her, though she quickly overpowers him due to her superior age and strength.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Audrey concludes her fight with Derek by impaling him through the chest with a length of wood; Derek almost immediately recovers and is able to pull it free after a few seconds. Turns out Audrey only did this to illustrate the point that Derek is now officially unkillable.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Subverted; despite having vampire super-strength on his side, Derek's fists still hurt a great deal after punching holes in the wall or cracking cement blocks in half.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Derek goes into a frenzied state due to lack of blood and kills his best friend Clif. Though of course, it turns out Clif isnít so dead after allÖ
  • Made of Iron: Derek is virtually indestructible as a vampire. Even a shotgun blast to the head at point blank range doesn't kill him. Later, it's revealed that it's even more extreme than that.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Derek, when he realises he has unwittingly killed Clif.
    • And again when he ends up accidentally killing a police officer in Paris.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: By the sounds of things, nothing can kill vampires; a shotgun blast to the head, multiple gunshot wounds, seemingly being shot to death, impalement, even sunlight can't keep 'em down forever. It certainly manages to inconvenience them through sheer pain, but nothing seems able to stop them for good. Even the more-experienced Audrey doesn't know of anything that can actually kill her - and she actually wants to die.
  • Not Quite Dead: As it turns out, Clif. He actually survived being attacked by Derek and is now a vampire too.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires can only drink human blood (eating or drinking anything else makes them violently ill) and must feed every five or so days, or they enter a frenzied state and attack any humans they come across. They have enhanced speed, strength and agility, obviously show up on camera (given the filmís genre), and retain their reflection. Sunlight burns them, staking them through the heart has next to no effect on them, they can survive and recover from serious wounds (including a shotgun blast to the head), and there is no cure for the condition. Apparently, being bitten/scratched by a vampire and surviving (even if youíre clinging to life by a thread) is enough to turn you into one; it also cures terminal diseases.
  • The Renfield: Heavily implied to be the case with Maurice, Audrey's mortal friend; several old scars on his body indicate that he's been deliberately cutting himself in order to supply Audrey with blood, and it's implied from his disgusted response to Derek that he's been doing this in an attempt to earn vampirism - but in the fifty years they've known each other, she's never obliged.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Derek goes on a rather gruesome one against the GIGN team after they shoot him 'dead'.
  • Sad Clown: Derek is suffering from a terminal illness; Clif is nervous about going overseas and worried that he might very well end up watching his best friend die, and both spend a great deal of time clowning around to brighten the mood. This tendency continues when Derek is transformed into a vampire, for even between scenes of vomiting blood, skin sizzling in the sun and unspeakable Horror Hunger, the two are in the habit of cracking jokes and laughing over the new powers. Derek in particular develops a rather dry sense of humor that somehow holds up even when he's been burned to a crisp and left on the run from the police. Tragically subverted by the end; Derek's been so broken by his experiences that he's lost all trace of humor and levity in his final address to his family, while Clif has been reduced to a feral vampire who can't even speak, much less laugh.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After Derek massacres most of the GIGN team, the last remaining officer decides to flee. Derek kills him too.
  • The Stinger: A group of teens are shown being attacked by a vampire, who is revealed to be Clif, whom Derek unknowingly made into a vampire.
  • Strong and Skilled: Having had several decades to master her powers, Audrey easily kicks Derek's ass when he tries to kill her during the climax.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: At one point, Derek attempts to test his super-strength by lifting a random car parked in the street. All is well - right up until he accidentally triggers the car alarm, prompting a hasty retreat.
    • Once they realize that Derek can only feed on human blood, he and Clif try to steal some. Unfortunately, neither of them have any criminal experience and no idea what they're doing, so it ends with the two being forced to beat a hasty retreat when Derek's offscreen attempt at bribing an orderly goes horribly wrong. Worse still, this and other attempts end up leaving Derek and Clif as wanted men before the halfway point - especially since neither of them were covering their faces when they committed their crimes.
    • Towards the end of the film, Derek ends up kidnapping one of Audrey's associates and livestreaming his interrogation in a desperate attempt to get Audrey's attention; it gets her attention alright... but as a wanted fugitive, Derek's online activities are being monitored by the police, and a GIGN team catches up with him long before Audrey does.
  • There Is No Cure: Derek seeks out the vampire who turned him, and when he confronts her he asks her about a cure, only for her to say there's no cure, making it very clear that if there was a cure (or even a way of killing herself), the centuries-old vampiress would have readily taken it long ago.
  • Tragic Monster: Derek steadily becomes this over the course of the film (although itís possibly subverted in the end, in that he still retains human intelligence and morality. He only loses control if he doesnít feed regularly). In the end, it's revealed that Clif has become a vampire too.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Derek. For most of the movie, he's still learning the ropes of his powers and clearly doesn't have much experience in hand-to-hand combat, but what he lacks in skill he makes up for in sheer brute strength and speed. This works against him in the climax, in which the much-more experienced Audrey is able to effectively curb-stomp him.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: They certainly donít seem pleasant.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Averted. Vampires can only drink human blood, which Derek finds out the hard way.
  • Verbed Title
  • Voluntary Vampire Victim: As Derek begins to starve, Clif resorts to opening cuts on his arms in order to supply him with blood. Unfortunately, by then it's already too late for Derek to resist attacking Clif head-on and draining him of blood.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Attempting to eat anything other than human blood results in Derek projectile vomiting all over the place.
  • The Virus: Vampirism in this film is portrayed as such.
  • Weakened by the Light: For vampires, exposure to sunlight results in severe blistering after only a few seconds; any longer than that, and it's actually possible to see the skin on Derek's hands begin peeling off his muscles. More disturbingly, long-term exposure to sunlight hurts Derek very badly, but it never actually kills him, and Audrey implies that it's impossible for a vampire to commit Suicide by Sunlight for this reason.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Audrey has been a vampire for well over fifty years, and admits that she would have killed herself a long time ago if that was possible.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: In the end, Derek states he can never see his family again, due to his vampirism (and because heís probably still wanted by the authorities for kidnapping and murder).