Brian Taylor’s The Bite brings some creepy back into the zombie genre, focusing on delivering an appropriately somber, though slightly off-kilter, tone to its tale. While not terribly original, the tale of a survivor dreading the moment when his loved ones succumb to their zombie injury and thus become zombies themselves, the film at least tells its story well, complete with some late-stage ambiguity to start some post-ending conversation.
The Bite cost only $200 to make, but when you’re trying to tell a story of a guy hiding out from zombies, you don’t necessarily need a ton of lights and set design; dark and dingy, with the right amount of disturbing audio, can win the day. Filmmaker Taylor intelligently took advantage of the film’s financial shortcomings by being creative within his means, and it works. Again, the film delivers on the creepy with a twist, and doesn’t solely resort to jump scares or other editing trickery to make things uneasy for the audience. Which is refreshing, because if you’re going to use the zombie film language, considering how popular the genre is, you’ve got to bring something a little different to the table.
The film does overstay its welcome by a little bit, but while I have not seen it, there is a version of this short that can be seen at the film’s website that is about 3 minutes shorter, and entitled “The Hyper Version.” This might be the cut that’s more in keeping with what I’m looking for time-wise, but I am fond of this longer cut’s tone; even if it felt a bit long, I did enjoy the overall mood it conveyed.
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