Bite starts with a group of women on holiday in Costa Rica – and I almost automatically gave up on it. It was filmed in a hand-held, ‘found footage’ style and I’ve seen more than enough of those types of films to last me a lifetime. However, once we get past the initial ten minutes the hand-held thing is tossed aside and we thankfully settle down into a more traditional style of filmmaking. That’s when Chad Archibald’s film really gets going, morphing into a nice little body horror. It’s not going to transform the genre but it makes for a solid throwback to a pre-CGI age, where latex and KY-jelly ruled the effects world.
Elma Begovic is Casey, a bride-to-be who gets bitten by an unseen insect whilst on holiday. She returns home to her fiancé (Jordan Gray) and his hard to please mother and begins to have second thoughts about the wedding. To make maters worse, her ‘Bite’ begins to cause her all sorts of problems and she slowly begins to transform into something icky. The bodycount and the gore grows as Casey becomes the perfect match for a Fly-era Jeff Goldblum. At times the performances might be a little shaky, but Elma Begovic commits to her half-human, half-insect role.
There’s not much going on plot wise in Bite, but that doesn’t matter with this old fashioned slime filled horror. Archibald makes the most of his limited resources, offering up some strong imagery and Jeff Maher’s cinematography adds a nice look to the digital photography. Steph Copeland’s score also adds atmosphere, helping give Bite some good tension.
Bite isn’t a jump-scare horror, it’s more of a creepy, gross-out piece which showcases some gory effects. Plot-wise, it’s a bit thin, but this is something for those who enjoy (and miss) early period Cronenberg. Just have the perseverance to make it through the ghastly opening.