Fantasia Fest 2015: Bite (2015)

Black Fawn Films has been on fire with tons of horror.  The year before last, it was Antisocial.  Last year, it was responsible for The Drownsman.  This year, other than Antisocial 2 (which I will review next), its Bite.  The love and passion for horror is fully apparent in the producers and directors at Black Fawn Films.  The Drownsman aimed to bring in a new memorable figure just like how Jason and Michael Myers was supposed to do and for Bite, it is at the level of David Cronenberg’s The Fly (which I haven’t seen).  Regardless, I chose this film because despite having a little issue with The Drownsman, there is no doubt that director Chad Archibald is really great at doing horror and for all that passion I see during last year’s Q&A, I would go see whatever other projects him and his company will release.  So there I was, lining up super early, because I had nothing else to do, at the world premiere of Bite.

Right before the movie, we get a little gift handed out to us and I tweeted about it.

Official Bite Barf Bag

Official Bite Barf Bag, includes: promotional card for Bite and Antisocial 2 and 2 mints

That was a thing and it made me a little worried about what to expect.  I usually can stomach pretty gruesome things but really? A barf bag? At least it got me mentally prepared 😉

Bite (2015)

World premiere

Bite

Director: Chad Archibald

Cast: Elma Begovic, Denise Yuen, Annette Wozniak, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers

Casey (Elma Begovic) going away with her two girl friends Kirsten (Denise Yuen) and Jill (Annette Wozniak) to Costa Rica for her bachelorette party.  While exploring there, she gets bitten by something in the water.  When she gets home, what seemed like a small bite starts to get infected and worsen.  Soon, she starts feeling a change.  These changes intensifies as her fear for getting married with her fiance Jared (Jordan Gray) shadow over her.

I’m sure that whole disgusting thing is looming in the background of your heads after the whole barf bag gift so I’m going to start with that.  While I don’t know if it was related to the movie or just the massive heat wave we had last week, I do know that one girl seemed like she wasn’t doing well as she exited the theatre after the first scene or two that was pretty stomach-turning.  At the end of the show, they were saying that 3 people left and paramedics had to come.  I sure hope they are doing alright but yes, while I didn’t need to use my barf bag, there were a few scenes that it was so revolting that I resulted to taking off my glasses for one or two scenes and turned away for a few seconds in the earlier ones.  If that was their goal, applause to them, hell, even standing ovation to a phenomenal job!

bite

Consider that part more of a warning of what to expect than my criticizing it because Bite was a very good horror movie.  It starts off in a pretty mellow way to set up the situation of how Casey and her feelings towards her upcoming wedding and her dynamics with her friends and their personality.  It gives us hints of what will happen.  Being away only took a little bit of time but being back in her place, it doesn’t have a lot of places that it moves around from.  Casey and her apartment building is where mostly everything happens and that location has a really nice atmosphere to it (even though the exterior of that building makes me question its believability as a residential building).  The atmosphere is what I love the most about Chad Archibald’s work, even in The Drownsman last year.  This one has a rather sombre texture to every scene, especially when Casey starts her transformation.  That whole set of her apartment is a work of art in the third act in all its super nauseating and creepy way.

I guess the only thing I can rag on about Bite is the dialogue.  Its not exactly engaging and it can be too much.  The opening sequence was a little bit of burden and I got a little worried we had entered into the found footage film which only applied to that first little bit in the exotic getaway part where they were setting up the stage.

While, the best parts is in some very good performances from the cast.  The very successfully mean future mother in law was done in the most convincingly nasty way that you will hate everything about her.  Casey was portrayed very well by Elma Begovic.  The whole physical transformation and the things she does, her reactions are really awesome.  She was able to embrace the character from emotional fear to the physical changes. As for the other characters, the best friends have this balance of good and bad while the fiance, and I honestly believe his character was meant to be like this, a little frustrating and kind of a jerk. But that is the character and everyone fit well in their spots so I’m happy with it.

Bite

Q&A Session

Overall, Bite is a very good horror film. The cast was great at letting us know the characters in this story especially Elma Begovic as the main character Casey. While the first act isn’t quite as solid, it picks itself up in the second act and excels in the third act.  The atmosphere and particularly the set is done very well.  One of the most outstanding features is in the incredible set transformation and also Casey’s transformation from the after effects of the bite.  Its a slimy, gooey and very disgusting movie but if you can stomach it, you definitely should give this a go! 🙂

Thoughts on Bite?

Fantasia Film Festival Line-up! :)

It’s the time of year again! Fantasia Film Festival hits Montreal starting the coming Tuesday (July 14th)!

After waiting for the site to get updated and the schedule to go up on Tuesday, I sat down for 2 hours looking at trailers, reading descriptions, seeing what fit in my schedule.  It sure took longer than I expected.  But then, last year probably took the same amount of time.  With work rush in the way, I have to make some choices that I didn’t really want to.  Some movies I wanted to see only  had time slots where I couldn’t go or it clashed with something I wanted to see more.

One movie, I did end up not choosing (because the chances of me getting tickets were also slim) was advanced screening of Ant-Man.  I’ll still go check it out in theatres if its still around after the festival but its okay.  There are a lot of great choices and some amazing hosts for certain movies.  With that said, I was a little nervous that I couldn’t get tickets for some of the movies.  Here is what the final line-up is!

Just a note: I don’t have particular preferences but I do usually go for less dramas and romance and more horror and thrillers.  I always choose one Hong Kong (China) production and try to dive into Canadian movies also.  Other ones, I try to keep an eye out for is Quebec production and animations that peak my interest but not necessarily included.

July 15

Kung Fu Killer (Quebec Premiere)

The Hallow (Canadian Premiere)

July 17

Cooties (Canadian Premiere)

July 19

We Are Still Here (Canadian Premiere)

Observance (World Premiere)

July 21

Anguish (World Premiere)

July 24

Tales of Halloween (World Premiere)

July 28

Cop Car (Canadian Premiere)

July 29

Bite (World Premiere)

July 30

Antisocial 2 (World Premiere)

Dark Places

That’s the line-up for now! 🙂 11 movies! That’s the same as last year.  I’m pretty happy that I managed to get all of what I wanted even though I hesitated a little during ticket checkout for Tales of Halloween and Antisocial 2. Those are kind of my wild card right there but after looking at the San Diego Comic Con trailer for Tales of Halloween.  It does make me a good bit more optimistic.  I haven’t ever dived into the world of horror anthology movies so this will be a fresh experience.  As for Antisocial 2, my review for Antisocial will go up some time next week, tell me that it doesn’t give you a creeping feeling of Resident Evil BUT I’m a huge fan of Resident Evil, seeing as its my guilty pleasure and all, that I’m willing to give this one a chance.

This year, the fiance is coming with me to see the Sunday two movies back to back night with We Are Still Here and Observance. And one of my good friends are going with me to see Cop Car.  I always love company in these things since everyone else seems to have company.  Not that I mind too much since I’m usually pretty hyped up about these events.

 

Moving along, there were a few movies I couldn’t see because of time constraints but these two were the ones that I felt like I will miss out the most:

Cruel

Cub

While there are movies that I considered and the trailers were rather intriguing but upon a second look at the trailers and discussing with my fiance for weekend showings, we decided to not choose those.  Whatever the reason, I do only have a certain budget so sadly, among a pool of potentially good movies, I had to make choices and hope that it would work out for the better. However, please take a look.  Maybe you can shed some light on some of these that I wasn’t aware of and I’ll add it to my viewing list.

Ludo (India)

Synchronicity (USA)

Momentum (South Africa)

Cherry Tree (Ireland)

Synopsis- via Fantasia Festival

Traders (Ireland) 

Synopsis – via Fantasia Festival

And there you go! My final line-up, potential candidates that didn’t make it (but your opinion and suggestions may change that) and movies that had scheduling conflicts.  As for one of the movies, I actually chose because I wanted to see it and then work my schedule around it.  But then, I really hope I’m sacrificing for the right movie… Either way, I need to be confident in what I’ve chosen. I really do like the looks of it all.  I think I’ll need to round up a ton of comedies to ease the amount of horrors sitting in this list.  If you had to choose one horror to get creeped out of, Anguish gave me chills and the first time, I didn’t even finish the trailer on my own.  My fiance claims I’ll stay up all night.  Lets hope that won’t happen. As for hosts, Tales of Halloween will have a ton including Neil Marshall.  I’d lie if I didn’t choose to see that movie because I wanted to see what he had to say about it. Then there’s Cop Car where Kevin Bacon will host along with the director.  Just a little highlight from what I can remember.

Yay! Festival season! 🙂 Its a huge reason why I feel so lucky to be living in Montreal!

Anyone going to be here for the Fantasia Festival? What are you seeing? Anything catch your eye out of this selection? What peaks your interest from this list?