Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Chad Archibald
Cast: Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Jordan Gray, Denise Yuen
Ready to take a trip back to the 80s? Bite, Chad Archibald’s tale of vacationing gone wrong, is delectably disgusting. You’re going to want to devour every second of greatness, despite how stomach turning some of those seconds truly are. That’s not the mark of a good film, that’s the mark of an absolutely brilliant piece of artwork destined to haunt the minds of viewers across the map. It’s repulsive, stomach turning and disconcerting, and it’s absolutely made to be just that, happily marrying aspects of body horror, classic creature elements and personal deception.
Archibald has delivered an A+ creature feature that pays homage to some stellar 1980s pictures, David Cronenberg’s pitch-perfect remake of The Fly chief among them. But Bite never feels like a ripoff, and it never feels anything less than original. Yeah, we’ve seen similar ideas put to film in the past but there’s something magical about Bite. Part of that magic comes our way from the performers themselves, all of whom are relatively inexperienced, all of whom perform far beyond expectation, especially Elma Begovic, who totally and utterly kills in the lead role.
To sum it up as quickly as possible I’ll say this: Soon-to-be-married Casey and a few friends head for Costa Rica to blow off some steam before Casey’s completely off the market. But on her journey Casey runs into a string of problems, the most noticeable is a mysterious bug bite that becomes absurdly infected with alarming speed. Once back at home, where she should be enjoying her time putting the final touches on her wedding with Jared, things spiral. Physical transformations quickly overtake the woman. She’s overcome by extreme illness, but illness is the least of anyone’s concern. When Casey’s transformation accelerates, bodies pile up, and no one is safe in her presence.
Oh, this movie is so delightfully nasty. You want to see some amazing special effects? Jason Derushie delivers some awe inspiring treats. Some of the creations are flat out eye-popping, mouth-hanging realistic. When Casey rises as a full blown beast, the jaw hits the floor, bounces up and shatters teeth; she looks amazing and terrifying in equal measure. And we, the viewer know in that moment that we’re seeing something special.
My recommendation is this: Get someone to watch the kids, clear a five hour block one weekend evening, load the refrigerator up with cold brews and gear up to watch three films that were absolutely destined to be viewed in succession: The Fly, Contracted and Bite. Flawless trio!