14 October 2016

BITE. (2015) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




BITE. (2015) WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY CHAD ARCHIBALD. MUSIC BY STEPH COPELAND. CINEMATOGRAPHY BY JEFF MAHER. 
STARRING ELMA BEGOVIC, JORDAN GRAY, ANNETTE WOZNIAK, DENISE YEUN AND LAUREN DENKERS.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I wasn't expecting much from this horror film when I saw that it started with a trio of barely-dressed skanks videoing their slutty shenanigans on a foreign holiday with a hand-held camera. Here we go again, in other words.

Fortunately, however, BITE actually turned out to be a brilliant body-horror and not at all what I'd expected, especially since I'd thought it was a film about cannibalism, going purely by the name and the picture on the cover. So much for judging a DVD by its cover, haha.

Anyway, here's the deal. Casey Morgan is a gorgeous young American woman who's shortly to be married to a wanker, sorry, banker called Jared who's frankly not worthy to paint her toenails. For her bachelorette party, which they're big on in America, she travels to Costa Rica with her two best mates, Jill and Kirsten, for a few days of sun, sea, sand, drunken sex and insect bites.

I'm not kidding about the insect bites. They're actually kind of integral to the plot. The local mosquitoes are chowing down on everybody but, while splashing about in a swimming-hole that's way off the beaten track, Casey- and only Casey- gets bitten by an unseen bug.

She thinks no more of it for now but, when she arrives back home, she realises she's brought back more than just a stinking STD (well, probably!) and a couple of bottles of duty-free plonk...

Ever seen Jeff Goldblum in THE FLY, one of the best horror movies ever made? Well, this is just like THE FLY but with a girl in the lead role. And, sure, no homage or tribute film or even just a film with a similar plot could ever be as good as the David Cronenberg original film, but this is still a really, really good effort. It's actually much better than the sequel to THE FLY, for example.

The slow build-up of the beautiful Casey's physical problems is well done and it's great fun to watch. When she starts losing her hair, though, and gnawing off her own nails and puking a foul-smelling acidic bile all over the gaff, you can expect your stomach to start churning big-time. Mine certainly did anyway, haha.

The film doesn't flinch when it comes to showing the disgusting-ness, if that's a word, of Casey's horrific transformation from a healthy young woman into some sort of hideous insectoid creature. She's genuinely scary when she's 'changing.' Those jerky head movements and weird clicking noises she made really unnerved me because I knew what they meant...

Naturally, anyway, just like everyone else in these body-horror films, she's too scared to go to the doctor and so she hides out in her flat, isolated and growing more and more terrified with each new change to her body. The film captures that sense of isolation very well. Oh, and by the way, Casey's mutating for two now, so you can expect loads more fun and games along the way...

The scenes where she's scrubbing and rubbing at the titular pus-filled 'bite' on her leg made me turn away, shrieking 'stop it, stop it!,' they're so sickening. I felt- and did- exactly the same when I watched the girl in the bath in CABIN FEVER shaving her infected legs.

Eeuw. I feel sick just thinking about that now. And Casey's leg is so infected and oozing with pus that it's like the brown squishy bit in the bad part of an apple which kind of leaks when you squeeze it. Eeuw again, and even aaaaargh...! I just can't stomach stuff like that. I have to turn away from it.

The special effects are tremendously good, both regarding Casey's physical appearance and also the appearance of her poor apartment. It's great fun when the people who've been nasty to Casey start to get what's coming to them. One of them in particular is long overdue a good come-uppance.

Casey herself is very likeable (even doggies like her!) and so we're perfectly willing to feel sorry for her and empathise with her awful plight. If it had been Jill, say, who'd been bitten, well, I don't think that too many people would have shed too many tears over her. The film-makers understand this and gave us a character whom most people will like as the main protagonist.

This ultra-graphic, ultra-gruesome body-horror, which has done the rounds of more horror film festivals than, well, someone who's been to a lot, is out on DVD this October courtesy of SECOND SIGHT FILMS. 

It's well worth a look if you're someone who likes their gore extra-disgusting, haha. Better eat something beforehand, though. You certainly won't be able to touch anything even approximating food afterwards...

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com










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