Jul 19, 2023
John Ferrer, Rebecca Wilson
Rebecca Wilson, Lucy Wordsworth, Corinna Brown, Esme Cooper, Tamara Verhovan Clyde, Sarah Parker
If you ever need proof that you don’t need the latest tech or thousands of pounds to make a stellar short film, then look no further than the frenetically entertaining Bitten from filmmaker John Ferrer. Opening with the message “Fully improvised and shot within a day on a £0 budget”, in just six minutes Ferrer and his bad-ass cast deliver a high-octane, non-stop slug fest well worthy of your attention.
Here’s what we know. A woman, bitten by something through circumstances unknown but bitten nonetheless, is being chased down by others in her group trying to put her down because she “knows the rules”. But she’s not going to give up without a fight.
Now, this is all the narrative information you’re going to get here which, depending on what you tend to look for in a film might in some way determine how you feel after those six minutes are done. There’s no deeper backstory here, no character development, explanations or grander ideas at work which for viewers who are always looking for a bit more context might be left a bit wanting. But actually, the wonderful simplicity of its premise is what is key here in allowing for all the focus to go directly into the film’s explosive execution, meaning we can just sit back and enjoy the ride. Sometimes context is overrated.
And regardless of what side you might land on when it comes to the importance of story, in terms of its presentation there can be no debate at all that what Ferrer and co. serve up here is nothing short of spectacular. Bitten’s mission is as simple as they come, to deliver a highly entertaining showpiece, full of bone-crunching action that doesn’t let up and that you simply can’t take your eyes away from. And that’s exactly what it delivers. In spades. Ferrer shoots and cuts action in such a way that not only shows an inherent influence and love of the action genre, but at a level that would not look out of place amongst some of the Hollywood big hitters.
But action like this only really works if the people dishing it out can sell it, and its each member of this amazing cast, Wilson, Wordsworth, Brown, Cooper, Clyde and Parker (because they do all actually deserve their own mentions, perhaps even applause) that deliver every punch, every kick and every other single crunching hit in between with such authenticity that not only do you believe they feel it but there’s a few you’ll think you did as well.
The film's opening message actually ends with these four words. “We hope you enjoy”. If you like a lovely cocktail of heart-pounding action sequences and top-quality filmmaking, it’s almost impossible not to.