“Are we seriously doing this?”
Story: Casey, a bachelorette that’s getting cold feet, gets dragged to the usual “not for tourists” spot for a swim during her pre-wedding getaway. But there’s nothing usual after she gets a strange bite while in the water. Nope…Brundlefly powers, activate!
Scares: Lots of creepy.
Splat factor: LOTS of goop.
Closing scene “shocker”?: Not so much that than the inevitable “and then” bits. Could do without the Ba-BUMMM foghorn at the fade to black though.
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Original, but you’ll get vibes from lots of other body horror classics.
Trick or Treat?: Straight up, this insectoid chiller won’t be for everyone. Wish Cronenburg’s The Fly was darker and had more deaths? Or that The Brood had more of an insect vibe? Boom.
What starts out as a strange blistered bite on Casey’s hip, soon turns into clusters of tiny circular bruises everywhere. Her soon to be (bitchy) mother-in-law thinks Casey’s no good, which doesn’t help Casey’s uncertainty over the marriage. Meanwhile, her fiance has a serious hard-on for babies right the hell now. Hey, be careful what you wish for…
Same goes for anyone who’s thinking about watching this for a maximum level gross out. Some Fantasia Film Festival moviegoers vomited and/or ran out of the theater on its premiere screening? Me, I ate a candy bar. Tomato, bloody tomahto. Bite is fun , but if you’re a body horror dilettante, do prepare yourself. Fans of the genre will enjoy the hell out of this quick creeper though. I’d file this somewhere in-between The Fly and Alien. Not as bloody as Event Horizon, nor as crazy as Slither, but for bio-centric body horror, it’s a helluva good time.
The makeup and FX are top notch. From her small bite at the beginning to Casey getting pale as the infection travels, all the way to the final transformation, it’s a progression that gets believably gross, then outrageously gruesome. The bodies in her wake – and Casey’s bodily functions as the changes happen – are equally disgusting, perhaps more so.
As Casey, Elma Begovic runs through the gamut of emotions, from freewheeling to scared, horrified and finally terrifying with an inhuman physicality as the transformation progresses. Her Casey is so scared of what’s happening to her that she keeps things to herself, and that isolation fuels paranoia and further withdrawal. Though why nobody hightails it to a hospital in these types of films is beyond me.
Yes the story is simple; girl meets bug, hilarity ensues. But what truly lifts this film above the wannabes is the supporting cast, who deliver believable reactions to what they think is just a bad case of vacation sickness, until it’s way too late. Top that off with Begovic’s performance; she makes Casey’s horror and madness shockingly believable. You may find yourself checking for bites after the credits roll. Good luck with that.
Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.