by Cat McAlpine
Sarah Woods is a vampire. She doesn’t turn into a bat or shy away from crucifixes. She’s just a normal human being who feels better after she’s had a few drops of blood. Her roommate Chrissy has always been transfixed by other people’s blood. Her other roommate Lily likes to drink blood because it helps her embrace her otherness. Together, the three women make up The House of Twilight. And they’re being audited by the IRS.
Naomi McDougall Jones both wrote the script and stars as Sarah, masterfully embodying a woman who is both proud of who she is and frequently uncomfortable in her own skin. Christian Coulson plays a pleasantly plain foil as James, the IRS agent. While Bite Me keeps a toe in weird at all times, it’s a cut and dry romcom. Boy meets girl, they begin an antagonistic relationship that quickly evolves into something more, boy screws it up… you’ve seen the movies.
A lot of the charm of Bite Me is that Sarah never lets you forget that she drinks blood, and that isn’t going to change. It’s both taboo and harmless, repulsive and beautiful. It’s a young pretty girl with a Mike Tyson face tattoo.
Director Meredith Edwards keeps the camera tight and allows a cast of cooky supporting characters to expand the universe. This is the second venture by the writer/star and director duo after their 2014 Imagine I’m Beautiful.
This creative team has gotten a handle on crafting honest and unique stories, best highlighted here by a surprisingly beautiful moment between Sarah and James. The IRS agent whispers his idiosyncrasies to the vampire as they have sex for the first time, and the doubling down of intimacy was a shining moment.
Edwards and Woods never take the story too seriously. James stumbles home from a vampire ball, cape secured around his neck, to find his middle-aged roommate leading her prayer group in reflection about the blood of Christ. Annie Golden is a consistently fun addition as the patronizing Faith.
In another scene, roommate Chrissy (an enigmatic Naomi Grossman) is very proud of her new fake fangs, but they make it nearly impossible for her to choke down her morning cereal.
The film is a refreshing watch with a great reminder to embrace your weird.