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Maggie (Leslie Easterbrook) has lost it of late: She has been a loving
wife and mother of four, but of late, whe has been listening to
televangelist pastor John (J.D. Hart) a few times too often, has invited
him home a few times too often, has taken in his words without
second-guessing them a few times too often, and somehow she has just gone
off-rail. The first who has noticed it was her husband (Kane Hodder), who
one day just wants to leave her and send for the kids later on - upon
which she kills him, then puts his body in the freezer. Of course she
tells the whole world her husband has run off with another woman, then
convinces herself she has become too fat for him, and she plays the
innocent victim well enough for pastor John, who is pretty much a pervert
in a sheep's skin, to fall for her. She also soon claims she is unfit for
work, and thus forces her first daughter (Michele Grey) into prostitution,
and when she acts up, Maggie shoots her into the shoulder, cuffs her into
the bathroom and lets her die slowly. Daughter number two (Katie Holland)
tries to escape, but stumbles upon dad's body, so Maggie lets her other
kids beat her to a pulp, then locks her into the closet where she
painfully dies within a week. Then it's up to daughter number three, Grace
(Randi Jones), to sell her body to feed the family. Only Maggie's boy
Billy (Cody Allen) is in her favour, mainly because he does her bidding
and helps her hide the bodies - but not as well as he's supposed to ...
here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!
A deeply disturbing, well acted and subtly directed film, The
Afflicted is unfortunately a bit let down by its narrative build-up - or rather lack thereof.
Basically, for a film like this to work on story level, it requires a
decent set-up before going to hell in a downward sprial. The Afflicted
just starts somewhere deliberate and goes to hell in a straight line, no
twists, no turns, no stops, no
scenes of relief, no nothing.
Having said that, I have to admit I guess that's exactly what writer/director Jason Stoddard wanted to achieve with The
Afflicted, a film that's at least in part based on actual events and
that has a certain unpolished, intentionally bleak style to it - which all
results in one thing: It's a really disturbing movie ... well, mission
accomplished I guess.