Thursday, July 28, 2016

BITE ( 2015) (Blu-ray Review)

BITE ( 2015) 
Label: Scream Factory 
Release Date: August 2nd 2015 
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 89 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: Chad Archibald
Cast: Denise Yuen, Elma Begovic, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers, Annette Wozniak

Synopsis: While on her bacherlorette party getaway, bride-to be Casey (Elma Begovic) gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding… but before she's able to, she starts exhibiting insect-like traits. Brought to the breaking point by both her ongoing physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her horrifying new instincts. As her metamorphosis becomes complete, the bugged bride and all who cross her path discover that everything can change with a single bite. Directed by Chad Archibald, Bite is an altogether new breed of terror. A disturbing and intense film that has caused an international sensation at top genre film festivals, this is one movie that horror fans can really sink their teeth into.

This slice of body-horror opens in Costa Rica where young bride-to be Casey (Elma Begovic) and her gal pals Kristen (Denise Yuen) and Jill (Annette Wozniak) are on a bacherlorette getaway, they're partying and having a good time> When a local tells them of a nearby hot springs they take a detour and Casey takes a dip only to be bitten by some unseen creature beneath the surface of the tranquil waters. The wound is small but proves to be transformative in the worst sort of way for the young woman who quickly begins to change into a bug-queen.

This is a fun slice of Cronenbergian body horror, one swollen with gooey special effects and some awkward sex, which is an element that brought to mind the recent body horror entry Contracted (2013), which this shares a vibe with. When Casey comes back to her life in the U.S. we get the distinct vibe that she has cold feet about the impending wedding with her fiance Jared (Jordan Gray). A lot of her doubt seems to be centered around the fact that she does not want to have children, and Jared makes it crystal clear that he does want kids when he brings home an antique baby chair - which is none to subtle. Also adding strain to the relationship is that Jared's cold shrew of a mom (Lawrene Denkers) makes no attempt to mask her hatred of Casey, the old crow is dripping with acidic-venom, both figuratively and literally in this particular movie. 

Casey's transformation begins with a horrible skin condition that increasingly worsens, there's also some augmented hearing which begins to drive her a bit buggy. As the transformation progresses she becomes a little more  twitchy in her movements, craning her neck like an insect, her movements a little bit jerky. That nasty bite on her leg begins to get infected and swell with puss, during a brief sexual encounter with Jared it erupts in a geyser of creamy fluid, really gross stuff that should please fans of those pimple-popper videos that are so popular on YouTube, this movie is definitely not for squeamish.

Director Chad Archibald also directed nightmare-man movie The Drownsman (2014) and the alien-abduction movie Ejecta (2014) neither of which I loved, in fact when I reviewed Ejecta I wrote "
save your hard-earned cash for something with a bit more bite"... well here you go! Bite is a tightly knit and well-crafted slice of body horror with top-notch special effects and a near perfect execution with an effective horror score from composer Steph Copeland (Ejects, Antisocial) - there's nothing I did not love about this movie. 

Bite arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory looking solid, framed in scope 2.35 widescreen the colors are vivid and the image has some nice depth and clarity about it. The English DTS-HD MA 5.1 is crisp, immersive and well balanced. Extras on the disc included a audio commentary with Writer/Director/Producer Chad Archibald plus, five mini making-of docs, a theatrical trailer and a sleeve of reversible artwork and a slipcover. 

Special Features

- Audio Commentary From Writer/Director/Producer Chad Archibald
- Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: Make-Up (6 Mins) HD 
Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: On Set (6 Mins) HD 
- Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: Fantasia Film Festival (6 Mins) HD 
- Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: Chad's Wedding (5 Min) HD 
- Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: Dominican (6 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (1 Min) HD 
- Reversible Sleeve f Artwork 

Bite (2015) is an engaging horror story with some awesome and unnerving transformative practical special effects work . Actress Elma Begovic does good work as the party girl turned bug queen, her character has way more depth than I would have anticipated, which serves pulls you further into her gooey and transformative story, one loaded with enough gooey visual special effects to please even the hardened horror fans. Bite comes highly recommended, one of my favorite watches of the year so far.