Color, 2015, 88m.
Directed by Chad Archibald
Starring Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Denise Yuen, Jordan Gray, Lawrence Denkers
Scream Factory (Blu-ray & DVD) (US RA/R1 HD/NTSC) / WS (2.35:1) (16:9)
Color, 2015, 88m.
If your biggest beef with the avalanche of CGI horror films in recent years is the lack of real slime and goo getting sprayed all over actors, Bite should be just the antidote. This one from Canada sets out to rival Slither, Species, and Society for the sheer amount of slime and bile sprayed and slathered all over its actors, and on that front is succeeds with flying colors. In other categories it definitely comes in a lot lower, but for creature feature thrills with a lot of glop all over the screen, start busting out the popcorn.
As her wedding draws ever closer, Casey (Begovic) indulges in a beach side weekend for her bachelorette party in Costa Rica that doesn't quite quell the nagging doubts she has about the big upcoming event. However, that's nothing compared to the fear she's about to experience when a bite from a big, unidentifiable bug during an ill-advised hot springs detour triggers some nasty physical and psychological changes once she gets back home. What seems like pre-wedding jitters soon gestates into horrific nightmares about spilling bug eggs all over the floor as well as some radical alterations in her skin -- plus the ability to vomit corrosive fluids in people's faces. Soon she's striking back at people who have double crossed her, all the while building a unique, very disturbing nest in her apartment...
The idea of building a horror movie around a woman's anxiety about tying the knot is a solid one, and Bite manages to run with it pretty well until Gumenick loses some of her recognizability as a milky-eyed predator lurking around in a hoodie. However, the ick factor manages to carry it over the rough patches, with one bit riffing on a famous moment from The Exorcist into a baby shower likely to have you suppressing your gag reflex. Whether it needed both of its shock endings is questionable, but you'll likely remember at least one of them pretty vividly, too.
In keeping with Scream Factory's line of contemporary releases, this one comes to Blu-ray and DVD as separate editions with identical extras. The Blu-ray looks as slick as you'd expect for a 2015 film, with the increasingly dark and stylized look of the second half faring best with its deep shadows and creepy, gold-highlighted lighting. The separate DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 mixes sound robust as well without any significant issues, and optional English subtitles are included. Director Chad Archibald (The Drownsman) contributes an enthusiastic and almost nonstop audio commentary covering the extensive makeup effects inflicted on a very game Begovic, the influences of other body horror movies, and the lack of vanity involved in putting your cast through a story like this. Bonuses on the video side include the original trailer and five fun featurettes containing plenty of behind-the-scenes footage and comments from most of the cast and crew: "Makeup" (5 mins.), "On Set" (6 mins.), "Dominican" (6 mins., about the pros and cons of shooting in the "workation" spot), "Fantasia" (6 mins., about the film's debut at the Fantasia Film Festival and repeating the hyperbolic stories about people fainting and barfing due to its content), and "Chad's Wedding" (5 mins., about the gang's trip with the film to Sitges with a romantic twist).