A young woman on her bachelorette party with her friends out of the country reveals she’s having cold feet. But cold feet is hardly the problem when she receives a bite from an unknown bug while swimming. Upon returning home her life begins to unravel not only with her fiancÃ© but she’s beginning to experience weird symptoms from the bite. It isn’t long before her persona begins to change and starts developing odd behavior.
Bite is the new body horror film which has elements of The Fly and Contracted. When it first premiered at film fests, people were said to have either thrown up or passed out. This caught my attention slightly. However upon viewing it, those people must have very weak stomachs or there was pure exaggeration involved. While there were some cringeworthy moments involving puss, goo, and body parts falling off, it wasn’t nearly as extensive as it could have been. Not like The Fly or Contracted. That said, I will give it props for having very nice looking effects, especially when the nesting gets involved. As for the film overall, it really isn’t anything special. It’s a very straightforward story with nothing really fresh to add to the genre other than gross people out. My biggest gripe was with the writing. The characters weren’t nearly fleshed out enough to really care about, neither were the back stories involved. But most of all the worst part was the god awful dialogue that came off as if very little thought was involved. In one situation when the lead is well through her transformation her friend sees her and says “it’s okay. we can get you help. people get bitten all the time, I’m sure they’ve seen this before.” Now I’m not sure if this was supposed to be part comedy. It’s not very funny if it was. But the dialogue is just that cringeworthy, and the actions of the supporting characters when they come across the lead are so ridiculous and unrealistic (yes I know that’s a stretch considering the plot but come on). And then there is the ending, it was very anti-climactic and overall predictible. And the final scene with two young joggers was silly and completely unnecessary.
As far as performances go, there wasn’t anything special with the supporting characters. They were all pretty equally awful except for Lawrene Denkers as our lead’s bitchy soon-to-be mother-in-law whom I would have loved to have seen more of. Apart from her, the performance by Elma Begovic was pretty damn solid as our lead Amy. Had the script got into Amy’s emotional state more, Begovic would have nailed it. But in this case she knocks it out of the park with her creepy behavior and the movements she makes as the character transforms. It also helps that the make up effects add a lot to the creepiness as well.
Bite isn’t necessarily a bad film. It was just a huge missed opportunity in terms of writing and really being able to gross people out, develop the story and characters, and definitely improve the dialogue. But it’s the two aforementioned performances and very great look and effects of the film that saved it for me. That said, it’s an example that films should not be made to just gross people out.