While on her bachelorette getaway to Costa Rico, Casey (Elma Begovic) discovers that she is experiencing the first stirrings of cold feet regarding her upcoming marriage. As unpleasant as that may seem she is then bitten by an unseen underwater creature. Things go from bad to worse upon returning home as Casey deals with a nasty Mother-in-Law to be, a douchey fiance, a backstabbing friend, and a bite wound that not only wont heal, but continues it’s infection unabated turning her into something decidedly…UN-human.Being a horror film critic I am familiar with Chad Archibald’s previous work, not that I have seen his movies, but being on the fringes of the horror world I certainly know who he is and know about his other films. Having said that I did go into his latest opus fairly cold. Oh, knew that Bite is a body horror film about a woman slowly changing into a bug or some such, but that was pretty much it.
The first third of the film is, of course, set-up. We watch as Casey hangs with her friends on the beach, in a club, participating in your typical pre-wedding hi-jinks, having fun. She does express some concerns over her upcoming nuptials but it is written off by her homies as simple jitters. But before long the girls are charmed into checking out a beautiful swimming area off the beaten path, and that where things start to go sour. After a quick bite on Casey’s leg we find ourselves at the end of the trip and back home as Casey begins facing the prospects and tasks of a quickly approaching wedding day.
Our second act concerns mostly the aftermath of the afore mentioned bite (that seems to become highly infected), a very bitchy soon to be mother-in-law that is not only cold but outwardly hostile towards Casey, a fiance who is more concerned about his career and his own needs, as well as an oddly missing engagement ring. This middle bit dragged a little for me as it plays out much like a made for Lifetime melodrama focusing on the relationships that Casey is involved in. However, by the time we are heading down the home stretch, the slowness is all but forgotten with a full assault on your body horror loving senses.
Boy howdy does this thing get all kinds of gooey! Casey turns her apartment into an insect like hive, complete with thousands of gelatinous, squishy eggs, and diaphanous web like structures. We get lots of gross bodily fluids of every color, viscosity, and variety. Accompanied with some wonderfully revolting plops, bloops, and mushes via the well done audio effects, we get a tasteless (and I mean that with the highest of praise) treat from the SFX team. Everything looks exactly as you would think it should under the rather uncomfortable circumstances.
The performances are all reasonably well done. There may not have been much for the actors to sink their teeth into and really chew on, but all did yeoman’s work….with one exception. Elma Begovic was outstanding. From her nervousness regarding her wedding, to her fear of her infected bite, into her slow progression into a bug like creature, all the through to the final metamorphosis, she was the consummate professional. I am anxious to see more from this young talented actress.
In the end, the job of a film critic is to determine if a movie is entertaining and whether it is worth the time and money of those who might be interested. To that point I say, yes. Bite is entertaining, engaging, and uber disgusting. Perfect Friday evening viewing. Grab a six pack, pop some corn, sit back and enjoy. I can, with good faith, recommend Bite.
4.5 / 5
Directed By: Chad Archibald (The Drownsman, Ejecta)
Starring: Elma Begovic, Jordan Gray, Annette Wozniak, Denise Yuen