DVD: “Afflicted,” “The Unknown Known,” “The Witnesses,” & More!


It’s a slow week in home entertainment releases, but we do have a few goodies including a Netflix streaming LGBT title to add to your watchlist ASAP!

Horror flick Afflicted turns both the found footage and a certain horror genre into something fresh, scary and fun, while the even scarier (to some) Donald Rumsfeld is subject of documentary The Unknown Known. Finally, Andre Techine’s 1984-set The Witnesses (above), about a gay teen caught up in romantic dramas and the emerging AIDS crisis, comes to Netflix.



($30.99 Blu-ray, $26.99 DVD; Sony)

Not your typical found footage horror flick in several regards, and the less you know about specifics the better, this Canadian horror films starts off as a fun-filled documentary made by a couple of lifelong friends, Cliff and Derek (played by the actual co-writers/directors), as they spend a year traveling the globe. However, things go awry in Paris when Derek is seemingly attacked by a woman he picks up in a club, and as Derek begins to exhibit strange symptoms and abilities, things get very very gory and dark. The characters are genuinely likeable, the special effects impressive (especially given the film’s low budget and international locations), and a few twists are genuinely fresh, shocking, funny, and unnerving. Extras include deleted scenes and a couple of brief making-of featurettes.


The Unknown Known

($29.99 Blu-ray, $24.98 DVD; Anchor Bay)


Director Errol Morris questions the perpetually grinning and cagey former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, in this expertly crafted documentary. Frustrating yet compelling stuff! Extras include a commentary track, conversation with the director, vintage 1968 secretaries of defense report, and more.


The Witnesses

($19.99 DVD, Netflix Streaming; Strand)

In 1984 Paris, a fiftysomething gay doctor, Adrien, picks up a stunningly cute teenager from the countryside, Manu, whom he decides to befriend despite a lack of reciprocated sexual attraction. Adrien introduces Manu to his friends, writer Sarah and policeman Mehdi, the latter of whom happens to be bisexual. So begins a tangle of affairs, and jealousy, and complications — including a virus called HIV. Director Andre Techine pulls at heartstrings without being sentimental, while the characters are incredibly well-drawn (and boy is Manu easy on the eyes!). A Netflix must-add to your watchlist of films that address the AIDS crisis, including The Normal Heart and How To Survive A Plague.




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