Chastity Bites Movie Review
Written by Simret Cheema-Innis
DVD released by Safecracker Pictures
Directed by John V. Knowles
Written by Lottie Pharriss Knowles
2013, 95 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on April 27th, 2015
Allison Scagliott as Leah
Francia Raisa as Katharine
Louise Griffiths as Liz Batho/Elizabeth Bathory
Eduardo Rioseco as Paul
Chastity Bites is a horror-comedy centred on the folklore tale of Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
Set in the present day, high school teenagers Leah (Allison Scagliotti), an avid feminist and student journalist, along with her best friend Katherine (Francia Raisa) are considered the outcasts of the school.
A new counsellor by the name of Liz Batho (Louise Griffiths) arrives to run VAG (The Virginity Action Group), a group aimed to promote abstinence amongst young girls. Leah immediately has her suspicions as Liz even manages to lure the mean girls of the school into her group. Katherine is also lost to the cult-like sorority and Leah finds herself publically shamed by their leader Liz for not joining. Deciding to investigate Elizabeth's background, Leah discovers that the counsellor is Countess Elizabeth Bathory, an 18th Century vampiress who murdered virgins so that she could bathe in their blood and retain her youth. It seems she has arrived in town to continue her murderous tradition, but Leah must save her best friend Katherine from the Countess's vampiric charm.
At best Chastity Bites is a witty, fast paced rom-com horror. But it's slightly devoid of the morbidity often associated with vampire movies. It almost feels like the film version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, references which are made in the film and perhaps an homage to those much loved 90s television series.
Leah plays a Daria-type character with more self-esteem, and her best friend Katherine is shy and introverted, but comes out of her shell towards the end of the film. This is symbolic of the self-discovery themes explored, the main one being the coming to terms with sexuality. Chastity Bites strongly promotes feminism for young women through Leah, portrayed as a nerdy feminist with strong sexual appeal, proving that brains and beauty is today's aspired 21st century girl. Although a slight archetype of the feminist character, Leah represents a self-confident, fearless and beautiful young woman who exudes intelligence and sexuality, proving that having self-worth and awareness makes a real heroine. Without the blood this film would be well suited for Nickelodeon TV.