Film Review: Love Bite (2012)

SYNOPSIS:

High school is over and summer has begun in the dead-end seaside town of Rainmouth. While Jamie’s friends seem to be happy working in the local pie factory by day and looking for a shag by night, Jamie is bored out of his mind, running his pot-head mother’s B&B. He’s desperate to get out of there. But when he meets beautiful, smart and sexy American traveler Juliana at a party, he’s smitten – the world is not so small after all.

But soon after Juliana’s arrival, strange things start happening. One of the local teens goes missing at a party. Then, another. Jamie is warned by an enigmatic stranger that a werewolf is in town – and preying solely on virgin flesh! The only way to be safe seems to be to pop your cherry. (But that can’t be true… can it?)

As the locals are picked off one by one, the boys fear that a werewolf is indeed after them. And for all their talk, it turns out none of them have ever had sex before.

REVIEW:

Considering the fact that I am an avid British horror fan (especially as I’m British myself), I was actually pretty let down with what Love Bite had to offer. The Brits are renowned for their unique blend of horror and comedy, with such modern classics as Shaun of the Dead, The Cottage, Lesbian Vampire Killers and Severance, and yet Love Bite just appeared to be a poor imitation of these. It wasn’t at all funny. It wasn’t at all scary. So I ask, what is the point of it? Other than to waste time, of course.

When I initially read the name of this film, I naturally presumed that it was going to be yet another vampire movie jumping on the bandwagon – but no! In fact, the main source of interest in this film was actually about a werewolf which is on the loose in some nothingy seaside town, looking for virgins to prey on every full moon. The group of four teenage boys that we follow are traditional lads in the sense that they spend every weekend on the pull, sadly with limited success. They go to a party one night (which happens to be a full moon) where one of them disappears and another one meets ‘the girl of his dreams’ (or so he thinks). There is an increasing amount of speculation about whether this girl (an American ‘traveller’) is actually the werewolf in question, throwing the boy (played by Ed Speleers) into a certain amount of turmoil about the whole situation. The fact that he is still a virgin means that he needs to rectify this quickly in order to make it past the next full moon, enduring multiple failed attempts from thieving hookers to randy policemen’s daughters. It’s a tough life.

Unfortunately, I personally found none of the main characters that likeable, and this is the key reason why the entire thing seemed to drag on (despite being a relatively short film). Timothy Spall had quite a minor role and he was moderately amusing as the bumbling werewolf hunter, but this really is me clutching at straws here! The whole film is rather vile and crude and not in the least bit believable. It wasn’t even subtle about it either, but suffocating. The ending of Love Bite was particularly terrible, although I shan’t spoil it for those mad enough to give it a watch. All I’ll say is, don’t expect your typical ‘Hollywood’ ending full of cheese and romance, because Love Bite has something quite different in store. Something that stinks worse than any cheese ever could.

One of the actors (Ed Speleers) said in an interview that he thought that Love Bite had ‘an American shine to it’, which is something that I quite frankly disagree with. Whilst the issue of boys trying to lose their virginity is quite a popular film topic for the general ‘western’ world (most famously, American Pie), the culture which is exhibited here is a lot more specific to England. The whole notion of hanging out in a fish & chip shop or a penny arcade or some scabby, secluded benches with a Tesco bag full of cheap alcohol is definitely something which all British teenagers who live on the coast have to endure. However, the location of these happenings was not central to the plot and it could have actually took place anywhere – it makes one wonder why exactly such a bleak and crumbling town was chosen by the werewolf as its feeding ground. But hey, if there’s one thing that you learn from watching horror movies, it’s that you shouldn’t question these things too much, else it all falls apart!

The concept for Love Bite was not exactly original, and I hate to say it, but the whole thing seemed a little too juvenile for me. I understand that it is from the ‘silliness’ that the humour was derived, but there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of substance in there for the viewer to sink their teeth into (no pun intended!). I suppose there was a twist towards the end which caught me out, but when your heart’s not really in the film in the first place, it’s hard to really find enjoyment. This is especially true as most of the decent action happened off camera, so we are deprived of the potential fighting/chasing/shooting scenes which would have gotten the adrenalin pumping.

As much as I hate to say it, Love Bite is not a film which I recommend – except perhaps to teenage boys who feel that they can relate to the situation which the characters find themselves in (kind of). I just think that there’s something too similar to British sitcom ‘The Inbetweeners’ for my liking, with the comedy being emphasized to the complete detriment of any horror. This may very well be a bonus for some, who are just looking for a light-hearted chuckle, but die-hard horror fans would do best to steer clear of this one.

Love Bite (2012)

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