Bite (Movie Review)

Director: Chad Archibald | Release Date: 2015

4

At this point it seems that people contracting strange diseases in exotic locations is about as old as the horror genre itself. In very much the same vein as Afflicted and Contracted, Bite looks to take a bite out of the body horror/transformation subgenre; unfortunately it struggles to ever be more than a poorly acted gross out flick with very little in way of entertainment. 

While out partying with her gals for her bachelorette party, Casey (Elma Begovic), is bitten by an unseen insect in a hidden tourist swimming hole recommended by a local. When she returns home she's stricken with cold feet and a growing number of bizarre side effects from her bite. Before long Casey cuts herself off from the world as she continues to develop bug-like symptoms and her apartment is covered in slime and baby larva. Can her friends and fiance figure out what's wrong with Casey before it's too late? Probably not. 

Bite is just another in a long line of movies that wants to do very little but test audience's gag reflex. Quite frankly, if you can stick around long enough to stomach the god awful acting and terribly dubbed found-footage angle of the first 10 minutes or so you deserve a pat on the back. Luckily, once the footage shifts from the first-person perspective the quality hikes up if only by a little bit. The acting never really hits stride and our "heroine" Begovic (making her feature debut) feels woefully out of place in front of the camera (in spite of her "easy on the eyes" appearance). Once Begovic has to drop the pretty girl act and into the primal bug-esque performance she actually puts in some of her better work- but her co-stars remain tough to stomach. 

Speaking of tough to stomach, it's not hard to see where the budget of Bite was spent- slime...and lots of it. It takes a bit to really get into the juicy moments of the film, but once the first egg oozes out and into the frame they don't stop. There are squishy slimy bug eggs as far as the eye can see- including a vomit inducing dream sequence featuring lots of egg dropping and squashing of the dropping eggs. Sadly though, director Chad Archibald seems to have little interest in anything but experimenting with people's limits of keeping their lunch down- unless you buy into the thinly veiled and sloppy hints at themes of motherhood and what not. 

Bite, for all its solid gross out effects is little more than a badly scripted porno- but instead of sex it's body horror and wall to wall insect larva spewing out of every crevice imaginable. Archibald seems to have a knack for what gets people's skin crawling, but needs something with a little more teeth to it. Bite is a creature transformation flick with loads of potential, but fails to fully develop in its cocoon.

Note: Screened as part of the 2015 Fantasia Film Festival.  

Luke

Writer

Horror movies and beer - the only two viable options for entertainment in the wastelands of Nebraska as far as he's concerned. When he's not in the theater he's probably drinking away the sorrows of being a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.

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