A Bite too far for horror fans?

Film leads to viewers fainting.

by Jennie Kermode


It's the story of a young woman who undergoes a bizarre transformation after being bitten by a mysterious insect, and it has reportedly led to horror fans fainting and vomiting. Now Bite is on its way to Film4 Frightfest, will London audiences react the same way?

Montreal horror audiences are not an easy target - many of the regulars there cut their teeth on early David Cronenberg films like Rabid and Videodrome - but a screening of Bite at the city's Fantasia International Film Festival saw at least two people faint and another throw up, according to audience members. Fortunately the film's promoters had already handed out sick bags before the screening began. Reports that an ambulance was called to the screening are unconfirmed.

Although it could just have been something in the popcorn, fainting in horror films has happened before. Another Frightfest choice, Grace, led to two people fainting when it was shown at Sundance, and several people fainted or vomited as they watched James Franco's character cut off his arm in different screenings of Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. The first film ion record as having triggered such reactions is the 1931 version of Dracula, which starred Bela Lugosi as the pointy-toothed count. No such incidents were reported at screenings of Roger Corman's The Pit And The Pendulum, but the producers thoughtfully took out insurance of the first person to die of fright.

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