Review: Eddie Lengyel’s BYTE (a werewolf bloodbath!)

Here’s another one from Eddie Lengyel. From Millman Productions, Fright Teck Pictures and Ron Lee Productions… Byte takes horror fans of a new generation and introduces them to the classic werewolf narrative. The film follows a group of college students who download a smartphone app that supposedly can help transform a person into a werewolf. The Halloween activity goes off without a hitch and without immediate results, the friend group think it was nothing but a hoax. Soon, however, a monster beyond their wildest imagination starts preying on the small town they call home. I can’t spoil the rest of the movie, but there’s a lot of other plot elements that pay homage to the 1950s and 1990s. If that’s not enough for you to rent or stream Byte, I don’t know what else you want. I loved it.

Byte was written, directed and produced by Eddie Lengyel with executive producers Jeff Miller and Ronnie Lee. It features cinematography and editing by Mick Kunz as well as special effects by Brad Stillwell and Jennifer Benavidez. Kayden Bryce, Marshall Vargas, Carlie Allen, Stephen Knight, Debbie Scaletta, Bill Schroeder and Tiffany Dos Santos star in one of the best indie werewolf films of the last decade. Byte received its world premiere last month at HorrorHound Film Festival and is available on most streaming platforms, including Tubi, beginning on April 18th. Having watched this movie in its entirety, I can see why it’s doing so well.

The standout element that makes Byte so successful is the practical effects werewolf suit and attack gore. The werewolf looks like transformed Oz (Seth Green) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also immediately brought me back to the culprit in Silver Bullet. This was such a smart production choice because it allows the werewolf to interact with the characters in a more realistic way than if it was only CGI. It helps to maintain continuity and realism while also invigorating the audience with nostalgic storytelling. And the fact that the villain in this movie always goes for a throat kill-shot is very in-tune with the habits of a wild animal. Luckily, Byte has a pretty high body count, so viewers get to see all of this in action.

Being that Byte is an independent feature, I don’t have a lot of criticisms based on the content I expected to see… or none at all, really. The only complaint I have is that the opening scene – while well executed – is a bit unrealistic in terms of human fight vs flight and decision making. Besides that, I only have good things to say about this picture. I enjoyed that the start was on Halloween. I enjoyed looking at the pancakes during the one diner scene. I enjoyed that the cast did a great job and played 20-something year olds while also looking the part. I enjoyed the inclusion of a cell phone-based villain because that’s a modern twist that so many other creators are going for. I enjoyed most of the camera angles, character development, locations and lighting. And I’ve already said I thoroughly appreciate the werewolf costume and gore.

Eddie Lengyel knocked this one out of the park for me. Byte is a howling good time for werewolf enthusiasts. It’s more than enough story to sink your teeth in to. It’s the best retro horror film of 2024 so far. Well done.

Final Score: 9 out of 10.

Michael DeFellipo

(Senior Editor)

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