Cinematic Release: Bite (2016) - Reviewed

Michelle reviews the new horror film, Bite. 

After reading an article that alleged that audience members were vomiting and having seizures at a screening of Bite, I must admit my interest was piqued. These kind of horror movie gimmicks aren't new,--The Tingler (1959) employed similar tactics with the director hiring actors to pretend to faint during showings and showing a lengthy warning before the start of the film. Obviously, I took the story with a grain of salt, but I do love me a good nasty body horror film. Bite seemed promising from the trailer and as soon as it was released on VOD I gave it a watch.

This herpes flair-up is terrible. 

Unfortunately, while Bite does somewhat deliver in the gore department, it relies too heavily on it for scare factor and the rest of the story surrounding the film is mediocre at best. The film is about a woman named Casey (Elma Begovic) who gets bitten by a strange insect while on a vacation with her friends. When she returns home to her fiancĂ© Jared (Jordan Grey) she begins to exhibit strange symptoms from an unknown illness. Thus begins her Kafkaesque decent into her own personal hell. The story itself is clichĂ© and brings absolutely nothing new to the table. I was hoping it would eventually take some twists and turns but it never strays from its path.

The acting is wooden and the characters all make ridiculous decisions that break the suspension of belief. Once the film jumps into gross-out gear it does improve, but only because it focuses on Casey and not the rest of the boring cast. Once this film starts to get nasty, it gets real nasty, so fans of slimy goop will most likely be impressed. The special effects and makeup are well done and there were a few scenes that made me cringe a bit.  Was it vomit inducing? As a seasoned horror fan I didn't think so, but people with weaker constitutions might find it stomach-churning. Some of the camera framing and shots are really cool looking, it's a shame the entire film wasn't filmed in that manner.

This film is a whole lot of wasted potential because with just a little more polish on the story and acting it could have been incredibly subversive and frightening. James Gunn's Slither (2006) is an example of how to make a great body horror film because both the narrative and the special effects are at the same high quality. Bite is entirely too uneven for me to recommend it but if you just wanna see some sticky, icky bug stuff then it might be good enough for a rental. 

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-Michelle Kisner