Opening in select U.S. theaters and on VOD/digital Friday, May 6th from Scream Factory, Bite is the newest film from Chad Archibald, director of Ejecta, The Drownsman and Neverlost. Bite was written by Jayme LaForest and won an Audience Award at Montreal’s Fantasia festival. The bloody body horror film stars Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers, Denise Yuen, Tianna Nori and Caroline Palmer, with awesome makeup FX by Jason Derushie.
Plot: While on her bachelorette party getaway, Casey [Begovic], the bride-to-be, gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding but before she’s able to, she starts exhibiting insect-like traits. Between her physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her new instincts and begins creating a hive that not only houses her translucent eggs, but feeds on the flesh of others. As her transformation becomes complete, Casey discovers that everything can change with a single bite.
Jay's Take: Bite starts off with Casey and her girlfriends vacationing in Costa Rica before her impending marriage. Things get a little out of control when the girls get repeatedly wasted and have a blackout night. Finally they head home after finding a local spring to relax in where Casey is bitten my a mysterious underwater bug.
Casey returns home and almost immediately begins a strange metamorphosis. She alienates her friends, family and enemies while her transformation (which heavily resembles Jeff Goldblum's in 1986's The Fly) takes to her to a dark medium between woman and insect.
Bite is shot beautifully, especially since it's basically one well constructed gross out scene after the next. My biggest complaints would stem from the film's absolute lack of originality. It feels like a mashed up version of films like The Fly, The Cannibal Man, Contracted & even 2012's standout body horror flick, Thanatomorphose. The pacing here is excellent but glaring continuity errors and largely unbelievable character choices really muck up what could've been a great story. Endless and exhausting horror movie cliches weigh the film down and ultimately it begins to feel like a textbook taxi ride from one plot point to the next, unfortunately the driver seems to be lost when it comes to guiding us home.
Bite is fun and about as stomach turning as anything you'll see this year. The performances and production value far exceed the film's budget. However, sloppy story telling and poor editing leave you thinking the filmmakers circled their target but never really hit the mark they were aiming for.
Overall I give Bite a Horror Hound score of 6 out of 10. Some newer intermediate fans of the genre will most likely love this scab covered popcorn flick. Unfortunately, I believe hardcore horror fans will shake their heads and possibly even shun this bright and somewhat convoluted indie. Bite is satisfying but the final product is a little tough to chew.
Check out the trailer for yourself.
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