Many horror fans recalled the tremendously wonderful remake of The Fly (1986) that director David Cronenberg created, mixing the creature-feature with human horrors and gross-out scene, well director Chad Archibald (who also did The Drownsman) performs a similar task with his film Bite. Chad’s movie involves multiple emotional horrors webbing outward, all of them coming from a transformation of a reluctant woman facing confusions of her pending wedding and role of motherhood. This Canadian horror movie, contains quite of bit ickiness, along gooey gross-out scenes, and likely to make some wry bug bites and adding to a skin crawl delight on film night.
The film begins with Casey (Elma Begovic (Tear Us Apart )) and a couple friends on a Costa Rican bachelorette party vacation enjoying the drinks, dancing at bars, taking advantage of the beautiful beaches, and indulging in other activities, all with the audience watching via a handheld camera. Yes, a bit of found footage, but proves as a nifty manner of intrigue, which includes her friends, Kirsten (Denise Yuen) and Jill (Annette Wozniak) one last girl’s fling before Casey’s nuptials. This method works well when the flashbacks occur and understanding the referencing through a very uneven filming and it’s these random cuts of the girls partying on the beach. All three go to a secluded swimming hole, Casey gets bitten on her leg by something under the water. Returning home, her fiancé Jared (Jordan Gray) they don’t live together, co-exist in the same apartment building and he seems nice and polite, with a job and very much in love with Casey, and yet very obedient to his mother. He presents Casey with an antique highchair, hinting to her new role and duty, a baby machine. Meanwhile, his mother (Lawrene Denkers (Marjorie )) distrusts Casey and doesn’t think she’s good enough for her son, a tad cliché perhaps, but reality proves this nearly always. As the movie grows past the first act, as does her bite, becoming grossly infected and she begins experiencing strange sensations, for example heightened hearing abilities. However, unlike most concerned healthy people she never visits the doctor, because actually no answer exists, with it, likely no movie exists. The audience later learns more secrets lie on the recording, through intercuts of flashbacks, thereby providing reasoning for viewing the found footage in the first place. Meanwhile, the virus has other plans, as it marries itself to her spreading the infection quickly first flu-like symptoms, including queasy vomiting scenes, and a gruesome transformation escalates. Casey’s bite festers tension builds though the suspense doesn’t, as everyone can tell where the movie steady plots its course loudly. The special effects and makeup team aided wonderfully in adapting a colorful transformation of bubble skins, bulging eyes and yellow pearl marbles. Chad’s film pays homage to The Fly and other horror films, including Cabin Fever (2002), steering towards a revenge plot, but exactly from whom one thinks. Still Begovic carries her role very well, into a sinister conclusion of writhing in goo.
When the film first released to festivals and premieres a few viewers vomit while others fainted, and while never proved as a marketing stunt, the fingerprints of the legendary director William Castle, had an impression, after all Sam Raimi did the similar things when he released The Evil Dead (1981). The story paces well, and for many of the cast-iron stomachs of horror gores hounds, the grossness won’t affect them, however the less inhibited movie-goers the oozing body fluids might make for a disturbing viewing. Adding in for the creepy factors of Casey pulling off her fingernails and then gobbling it up, with her delicious slime, just like an insect. This scene does mirror one in The Fly (1986) as does her spitting acid to burn through everything.
First, Elma Begovic’s nails the character of Casey extremely well, from the guilty girlfriend to the buggy mother-queen, she transforms through the creature feature nicely. Others criticize the remainder of the cast, for a lackluster performance, in the secondary roles, however it is the script that does the mishandling, such as when Kristen breaks into Casey love nest and instead of shock she ventures into the goo factory of disgusts. Although, the nest, exquisitely beautiful, visually sickening, and yet it works very nicely to disturb some viewers.
If you like a gross feature film movie, then this will satisfy that desire, and for those wanting another remake of a classic flick, Chad’s takes many cues from Cronenberg’s The Fly, delivering something, whether it is a feeding frenzy or a nail biter for all horror fans.
This review was originally on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website in October 2016 and accumulated a view count of 1,466.
- This may sting a little.
IMDb Rating: 4.9/10
Baron’s Rating: 6.0/10