27th Oct2023

‘Bite’ VOD Review

by James Rodrigues

Stars: Shian Denovan, Nansi Nsue, Annabelle Lanyon, Stuart Sessions, Anthony Ilott, Noah James, Jack Loy, Jimmy Vee | Written by James Owen, Tom Critch | Directed by James Owen

After a failed theft at a dog fighting ring, con artist couple Nina (Shian Denovan) and Yaz (Nansi Nsue) must escape a dangerous criminal pursuing them. The pair end up at the house of Beryl (Annabelle Lanyon), a seemingly kind old woman who has £3000 in cash stashed away. Circumstances turn out worse than the couple expects, as the pair must fight for their lives against Beryl’s family of hungry cannibals.

Centring his feature debut around con artists, co-writer/director James Owen depicts a couple with differing opinions of their future. Nina is hopeful that they can lead a normal life with a more traditional line of work, while Yaz believes such a life is unattainable and escapes her bleak reality through addiction. Haunting Yaz are visions encouraging her worst impulses, and this look into her head aids this character who easily could have been reduced to an unlikeable obstacle.

The character elements are where Bite is strongest, and that continues with an interior look at how the cannibal family lives. While their horrific actions are commonplace, they still take offence to swearing and pass judgment on addicts. It is humorous to see such a murderous family picking and choosing what they consider appropriate, with a memorable moment being their shared laughter at the idea of dating a vegan.

What is unfortunate is the lack of tension within the unfolding circumstances. The premise should deliver a compelling tale of survival, yet instead offers an unexciting tale which relies on eye-rolling contrivances to have the plot move forward. While there are some interesting characters making up the work, others feel underwritten to the film’s detriment. It is worth mentioning that the use of practical effects grows more confident as the film goes on, with a mention of a hobby being a high point. Despite the premise, Bite could benefit from having more bite to it.

**½  2.5/5

Bite is on digital HD on October 30th.


Comments are closed.