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World Premiere
  • Canada
  • 2014
  • 86 mins
  • DCP
  • English
World Premiere
Hosted by Director Chad Archibald

Just before Casey’s wedding, she and a few friends head to an island getaway for a fun fling. A local informs the group of a wonderful place to swim that is unlike any other and far away from tourists. While the gals are having fun in a lagoon, a tropical, underwater insect bites Casey. She sees the slow aftermath of the bite on her return home. Pus-filled blisters start to dot her body, and she hears things. She becomes concerned, her friends reach out, but no one expects the symptoms to take her this far, deforming her very being and mind. As these changes overtake her, she sees her life and friends more clearly — and no one is safe from her evolution.

Within the canon of contemporary horror is the woman-body rot cycle. Instead of iconic female beauty, the camera is here to destroy, distort and decay this form. Whether it be fame (STARRY EYES), marriage (HONEYMOON), or the ultimate escape from a bad relationship (THANATOMORPHOSE), woman are physically falling apart on screen. Much as last year’s DROWNSMAN successfully created a new masked killer menace charged with NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET panache, so BITE reinvents and meditates on Cronenberg’s THE FLY, but with a woman and without the existential death/AIDS metaphor of its predecessor. With BITE, Black Fawn’s director Chad Archibald favours a combination of metaphors — a story of infidelity, marriage and birth to viciously sticky ends. Again, Black Fawn delivers on exquisite cinematography and excellent acting, and treads in a quasi-retro ’80s space, creating something thoroughly contemporary while rooted in cinema’s past.

— Heather Buckley