Bite Movie Review
Written by Richelle Charkot
Released by Breakthrough Entertainment
Written and directed by Chad Archibald
2015, 90 minutes, Not Rated
Showed at Fantasia 2015 on July 29th, 2015
Elma Begovic as Casey
Annette Wozniak as Jill
Jordan Gray as Jared
Lawrene Denkers as Mrs. Kennedy
I’m making a new rule. Nobody is allowed to call a body horror movie to “Cronenberg-esque” anymore. Although Bite is not without its stomach-churning moments and supreme gross-outs (apparently more than one person vomited and passed out during the world premiere at Fantasia Festival, which is an image that fills my morbid heart with joy), it is a far cry from The Berg’s output. In spite of there being fairly obvious reflections to The Fly in that Bite’s main character also turns into an insect-human hybrid, it has about as much to do with the Goldblum/Davis classic as it does with ‘Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka. There’s a bug person in it.
Bite opens with Casey on her exotic bachelorette getaway with a group of her closest girlfriends. The girls drink heavily and party often, and on one day after a handsome stranger tells them about a beautiful grotto close by, they go swimming and indulge in the gorgeous sites that the landscape has to offer. Unfortunately for Casey, she gets bit by a bug, and although it hurts her badly, she naturally assumes that she’ll be fine. Casey and the girls get home to the city and return to their normal lives, and within a few days, Casey begins to notice that her bug-bite is getting far worse. Added onto her concerns is that her fiancé is laying on pressure to have children, and she can’t bring herself to tell him that she has no plans for childbearing. Casey’s condition gets far worse, her pus-filled scabs begin to cover her whole body, a tail starts to push through her skin, and she begins her transformation into an insect.
This is a very hard film to read - it has a very minimalist plot with a lot of weight placed on its practical effects, which would work fine as a schlock picture, but there are moments that suggest that it is trying to express some deeper symbolism. Is Casey’s transformation representative of the pressure placed on her as woman? Why does she attack the ones that are closest to her? Is it loneliness? Misanthropy? Or is she just supposed to be a freaky looking bug monster that vomits a bunch of gross goop with the single purpose of entertaining the audience? It’s possible that because the characters and plot are so open and vague that it allows the viewer to assign whatever deeper meaning they want to it, but there is an overall feel to the story that it is trying to be a lot more than what’s on the surface, but is unsuccessful and confusing instead. Bite doesn’t have much to offer for someone seeking a memorable viewing, but is likely to entertain viewers seeking a few dry-heaves from its spectacular (-ly disgusting) practical effects.