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Bite (2015) Review

Bite

Starring: Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Denise Yuen, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers, Daniel Klimitz

Director: Chad Archibald

Writer: Chad Archibald, Jayme Laforest

Running time: 90 minutes

Rated: None (contains language, extreme graphic body horror)

Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Society

 

The body horror sub-genre makes up a small section of horror movies over the years. They primarily came into play during the 1970’s and 80’s and have continued ever since. Filmmaker Davidbite12 Cronenberg is known as the father of body horror since most of his films are of that sub-genre and is credited as being the progenitor of these types of films. Body horror films, if done properly are the most visceral and graphic in nature than most other types of films. Since dealing with destruction of our own bodies can be inherently gut-wrenching for the audience, these types of films elicit strong reactions and hit close to home and many times are extremely hard to watch – This is what makes a body horror film great.

Bite is director Chad Archibald’s entry into the body horror cycle. Does his film fit nicely into the sub-genre, hitting all the right buttons and eliciting all the correct responses from his audience without just giving us a gross-out movie for the sake of being gross? Read on to find out.

bite10In Bite, we meet three girlfriends who are headed to Costa Rica for one of their bachelorette parties. Casey (Elma Begovic) is engaged to Mr. Right, Jared (Jordan Gray) and the two plan on getting married shortly after she returns home. Accompanying her are her best friends Jill (Annette Wozniak) and Kirsten (Denise Yuen). The friends are taking Casey’s last blast of freedom seriously by helping her relieve her concerns and cold feet about getting married by partying 24/7 and all manner of debauchery. The trio hears about a paradise water spot with crystal clear water that is located deep in the Costa Rican jungle. The three decide to make the trek to the pool and bask in its glory with some much needed relaxation. Casey though gets bitten by an unseen insect in the water but shrugs it off.

Back home, the girls return to their normal lives and their regular problems. Casey’s seems much worse than the others due to the fact she is having major second thoughts about getting married and her bug bite has seemed to become infected. Jared tries to console Casey but she is beginning to change both mentally and physically. She is mutating slowly into whatever insect bit her in the jungle. Casey turns her apartment into a nest while producing millions of tiny, slimy insect larvae eggs. As much as her physical transformation is her mental one as she takes on a predatory mindset similar to what an insect’s might be. Now those close to her are in immediate danger as Casey will do anything to protect her eggs. How far will Casey’s transformation take her and how much of her humanity will survive in the end?

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Bite is a well thought out scenario and a competently made movie. The film is shot beautifully, especially making use of its tropical locations. One key aspect of the film is its acting performances with everyone on cast being top-notch in their roles. The real stand out is Elma Begovic as Casey. She does a great job with her role as a woman with second thoughts about marriage turning into a horrific bug-type creature. Her transformation throughout the film is amazing with subtle changes noticeable as her metamorphosis continues.

The main star of this film is the special makeup effects. This is what everyone is watching the film for to begin with-and they do a great job. The makeup effects are sufficiently disgusting inbite9 places with Casey dripping slime and ooze from her entire body as she metamorphoses into the insect creature. There’s more than enough bile to go around. Most of the audience will be pleasantly pleased with the amount of gross-out there is. My only gripe (and it’s a big one) is I felt they didn’t take Casey’s transformation far enough. At the peak of her mutation, she is still recognizable as human-like, albeit with tons of makeup applied to her. I feel for the story to be as effective as it could be, she needed to take on more of an inhuman insect appearance. There could be several reasons as to why the filmmakers decided not to go this route, with money probably the biggest reason. Special effects cost a lot of money and extensive makeup effects either with a physical animatronic insect Casey or through the use of CGI probably would’ve cost more than the budget called for. Or maybe they wanted to keep Casey more human looking to make the most of her performance. That’s what I would’ve liked to see, right or wrong; I feel that would’ve been more believable.

bite1So, in the end, Bite does what it’s supposed to do. It remains a very effective body horror picture with a great story and wonderful acting. Archibald and crew are not just painting by numbers here and are not out to make people vomit just for the sake of doing it. There’s a real story here and that’s what make the effects all-the-more effective. Bite is a very worthy entry into the body horror sub-genre. Gore hounds looking to be grossed out will get their fill here.

Pentagram 4 star ratings 2

4 out of 5 Pentagrams!

Watch the trailer here,

Written by Michael Juvinall

I am a Horror journalist, producer, ravenous Horror fiend, aficionado of the classic Universal Monsters, Hammer Horror, Werewolves, and all things Horror.

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