Directed by Chad Archibald
After celebrating her upcoming wedding in Costa Rica with her best friends, Casey becomes ill. Havng been bitten in the water whilst she was on vacation, as well as being bitten by many mosquitos, she suspects that her bite has become infected. Her concerns intensify when she fears she might be pregnant after having a one night stand during a drunken night she’s unable to remember. With just a week to go until her wedding, a matrimony she’s not entirely ready for, Casey begins to change beyond all recognition…
If you were frightened of tropical creepy crawlies, then body horror BITE won’t help put your fears at rest. What starts off aas a shaky cam, handheld footage flick soon spirals into a traditionally shot horror that has no doubt been inspired by Cronenberg’s The Fly amongst others as the tale takes what appears to be a reptilian turn. It’s during this that lead actress Elma Begovic as Casey begins to shine and come into her own as we see her transform into something not entirely human. Unfortunately, those around her including fiance Jared, venomous mother-in-law Mrs Kennedy and best friends Kirsten and Joanne aren’t used to their full potential. You’d think they’d be in touch with Casey more often, particularly her fiance Jared, but it seems even he isn’t too concerned about his future wife despite the fact she’s plainly ill during a more intimate moment. His preoccupation with work, getting his end away and having babies defines him as a very selfish character, one that doesn’t even notice when his own mother goes AWOL.
The real star of BITE that certainly grabs attention would have to be the set design. We see Casey’s rented apartment transform from your average, modern accomodation into a sticky, clammy hive which makes the ideal breeding ground for Casey’s spawn. She never wanted to be a mother but it seems now she has no choice as she begins to see changes in her body too, from the sticky saliva dribbling from her mouth to the puss filled sores erupting from her skin, and that’s just the start!
Whilst the film’s idea is nothing new, it’s certainly an interesting one that will make your skin crawl. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t seem like the idea has been entirely capitalised on. The dialogue and characters struggle to flesh out the movie, and the storyline of a potential breakdown between Casey and Jared seems merely injected to fuel tension between them both and her friends. As the film focuses more on Casey’s tranformation, I would have liked to have seen more from her point of view instead of just the little bits here and there and her interaction with the outside world.
Horror fans will find elements to enjoy here but body horror aficionados may well be left itching for a bigger bite.