Bite (2016)

A bachelorette undergoes some strange transformations after being bitten by an unknown insect while on vacation. As her metamorphosis progresses, her life – and her increasingly tense relationship with her fiancé – begins to unravel. It’s The Fly mixed with some weird melodrama.

This one is pretty much the definition of a mixed bag. The tone keeps fluctuating between straight drama and 80s grindhouse without finding a consistent mix, the characterization is all over the place and some of the acting hugely over the top, but the monster effects are excellent, the cinematography is on point, and the sound design does a great job. I never really clicked with any of the characters or understood the dynamics underneath the various relationships, which was a shame, since there was plenty of territory that could have been explored.

There is one element of Bite that I’m unclear about, and that’s the rape subplot that – while relevant to the characters and arguably the true horror of the film – never comes to a satisfying conclusion. It also makes me uncomfortable that Bite, a film primarily about body horror, makes uses the plot point of a monstrous pregnancy in a woman that has so recently been raped – and for a time believes that everything she has experienced is related to that. Especially since Casey, the main character, eventually becomes a monster and goes on to commit monstrous, metaphorical rapes herself. There’s a lot of metaphorical stuff in Bite that’s never unpacked, which left me with some uncomfortable questions.

So, this one’s a mix. It’s got some wonderful camera work and monster effects, and some thematically questionable storylines. Explore at your discretion.