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Casey, a bride-to-be bachelorette, goes on holiday with a bunch of friends. They are told about a secluded lagoon, but Casey is bitten by something unseen in the water. When she develops a rash she isn’t overly concerned, but when they return home her skin begins to form serious pustules. This is just the beginning of a horrifying transmogrification. Casey locks herself in her apartment. Her life systematically unravels as her friends fall out and she distances herself from her fiancé for more than the obvious reason. She struggles to hang on to her humanity, but suddenly that becomes unimportant, because the bite has changed her into something else...
People new to this film will see the DVD cover and the title, along with the key protagonist looking for all the world like she is going to bite into something organic, and make the incorrect assumption that this is some kind of zombie or visceral cannibal flesh-eating story. I can understand many people will be turned off by this apparent premise. Even the promotional blurb doesn’t help by trying to tell the world at large that sick bags were handed out at the world premiere (‘handed out’ doesn’t mean ‘used’).
‘Gross.’ ‘Gut-wrenching.’ These quotes achieve nothing in opening this film to the masses, which is a shame because it has much to offer. Okay, it’s not fantastic, but it does at least try to do something a little different. The body horror is far from being as disgusting as inferred (perhaps in real life it would be!). I would describe the metamorphosis as similar in style to David Cronenberg’s version of The Fly. What makes it work particularly well in this instance is the characterisation. We experience Casey’s every pain, embarrassment and anguish in an emotional sense; as opposed to Jeff Goldblum’s attitude of Oh, dear, my ear’s come off, better put it in the bathroom medicine cabinet!
Off course, it helps that Casey has background as well as character. Before her change we see her and her friends on holiday. We see her indecision and rejection of her impending marriage. We even see the betrayal by one of her best friends. All of this allows the viewer to relate more to her as a fleshed-out (that’s not a pun!) believable individual. I have to say though, as with many new generation horror movies, a superfluous and often nonsensical epilogue leaves more questions than any sort of resolution.
Definitely worth a look.
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