Love Bite was probably hoping for big things by mixing Inbetweeners style teen comedy with a dash of Brit horror, but the results are underwhelming and sometimes rather nasty – and not because of the gore (of which there isn’t that much, to be honest).
Jamie (Ed Speleers) is a young guy living in the dead-end town of Rainmouth, a place where nothing happens and the only thing to do is hang around with his sex obsessed mates. Their only desire in life seems to be to get laid, while Jamie has bigger ideas and remains a virgin (no matter what he’s told his friends).
Sexy American Juliana (Jessica Szohr) blows into town and Jamie takes a shine to this woman who’s seen far more of the world than he ever has. However at the same time something monstrous begins picking off virgins.
Is it a coincidence that the attacks start just as Jessica arrives? Werewolf hunter Sid (Timothy Spall) doesn’t think so, but Jamie has a more pressing issue – if the creature is killing virgins, he’s in the firing line.
It’s a plot that sounds fairly entertaining, but the actual movie is pretty bad. For a start it never decides what tone it wants to have. Sometimes it’s a horror movie, then it forgets that for an extended period and becomes a bit of a rom-com, before getting bored and turning into a Brit American Pie. None of these things really seem to come together, and it’s particularly noticeable with the horror side of the movie, which for the majority of the running time doesn’t seem much more than a subplot.
If the humour worked this would be forgivable, but much of it isn’t just sophomoric, it’s painfully unfunny. Well, no, it’s the sort of thing boys think is funny when they’re about 11 but have grown out of by about the time they’re 14. Even that could have been fine – after, it’s not a crime to cater for a relatively juvenile sense of humour – but the misogyny on show is quite nasty.
In Love Bite’s world, all women are either sluts or solely exist as possible sexual conquests for men. While a lot of gross-out comedies are rather sexist, Love Bite gets rather unpleasant with it. By the point it presents fairground rides as a great place to sexually assault women while your mates standing around laughing, there was little coming back for this movie. While the scene does have a slight comeuppance for the guys, it’s not for what they’ve done, it’s because one of them wasn’t good enough at it.
Right through the movie the misogyny is rife, with the film constantly finding constant excuses to demean women. It seems to think this is fine because most of the male characters are dingbats. However they’re presented as lovable dingbats just out for fun, while the women are either sexual things, possible sexual things or cock teases.
Even if we ignore this distasteful side of the film, it’s not a good movie. The horror isn’t that horrific (and often gets the forgotten), the comedy is rarely funny and the whole thing never quite decides what it is. If you like obvious dick jokes and don’t have much respect for women, perhaps you’ll like it, but everyone else should avoid.
Overall Verdict: Dumb, confused and lacking in either horror or laughs, Love Bite would be a dud even if it weren’t so misogynistic.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac