Review: Love Bite (De Emmony, 2012)

To produce an outstanding film requires a lot of skill, commitment and patience from everyone involved. What is most admirable about the best film makers of today is their ability to create and deliver a film of mixed genres, woven together to produce something both very clever and unique. Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland are fine examples; with enough gore and scares to satisfy a horror fanatic, coupled with spontaneous and in places ingenious humour given the circumstances within the film. Is Love Bite the latest in an emerging trend of comedy-horror triumphs? No; it is the exact opposite, an insult to all films of the comedy-horror genre.

The film’s premise is one of mild interest; a group of teenage students (Ed Speleers, Luke Pasqualino, Adam Leese) all desperate to satisfy their hormones and failing miserably, becoming interested in a new girl in the neighbourhood (Gossip Girl actress Jessica Szohr) who is later suspected of being a werewolf, aided by accusations from deluded werewolf hunter Sid (Timothy Spall). From the first few minutes it became clear that the film was not going to be clever, as it is entirely within a narrative of teenage boys with nothing on their mind but sex. It is evident that screenwriters Chris Cole and Ronan Blaney have been inspired by the well-known comedy ‘The Inbetweeners’ and have attempted to mimic the ingenious schoolboy humour in Love Bite, but if this is the case, it is the most pathetic effort in history to create an amusing script. There is not a single line in the film which will entertain or amuse the audience, the dialogue is basic, uninspiring, unintelligent and down-right insulting to anyone expecting comedy.

The film is also extremely under-plotted, with the storyline appearing to have been given almost no thought whatsoever. Yes, a raging werewolf who attacks and eats virgins every fortnight and who is targeting four sex-obsessed boys may amuse fifteen year old boys, but to all others it will have then recoiling in disgust at its immaturity and stupidity.

The cast seem to have had a whale of a time shooting this film, with acting decently being the last thing on their agenda. Speleers seems to spend the whole time on screen part smiling, grimacing or just completely glazed over. It was certainly interesting to see him kill one of his best friends, becoming all depressed, but then changing his mood dramatically in the following scene when his character has a minor chance of getting laid. Szohr never appears to change her emotion from that of a hacked-off teenage girl who’s being stalked throughout the entirety of the film. In the romantic scenes (if that’s what they must be called) there is nothing in her acting to convince the audience that she is remotely enjoying herself. What is most disappointing about the film however, is the fact that Timothy Spall agreed to be involved. It will never cease to be amazing that actors can stoop so low after being involved in such credible films – Spall has been superb in Quadrophenia, the Harry Potter series and of course The King’s Speech, yet now he chooses to give a an average, gruff, drugged-up performance in garbage like this?

It’s been established that the film’s comedy aspects are diabolical, and the horror aspects are of no different story. The scenes that are meant to scare are not done well at all, stages are clearly set where a poor virgin will be eaten, and you can almost tell exactly when we will see the wolf lunging out into the screen. The wolf itself is a disgustingly ugly piece of CGI work, with it changing size and shape as the scenes progress, one minute it’ll be twice the size a human with the fattest head in existence, next it’ll be a puny mongrel cowering in front of a car on the road.

There are some films out there today which are labelled ‘so bad it’s good’. Love Bite must not be confused with this category. It is categorised as comedy-horror, but in truth it carves its own category of pure atrocity, as it is neither scary nor funny. What is most infuriating about this film is that it is portrayed to us as though it was a serious idea for a film, yet no effort, time or even the slightest commitment has been put into it. It is the Lesbian Vampire Killers of 2012.



Ellis Whitehouse