I’m on the fence about Barry Levinson’s THE BAY, an ecological horror movie disguised as a found-footage movie. As I have mentioned before, I’m getting rather tired of the found-footage format. I will give this film credit for at least taking a different approach by using various points of view as a collage of information that together make up a fateful July 4th day in 2009 when the residents of the seaside town of Claridge, Maryland are besieged by mutant parasites that eat their victims from the inside out.
The conceit is that it’s now 3 years later and a then newbie reporter is finally getting the opportunity to tell her side of the story thanks to suppressed footage that has finally gone public due to a WikiLeaks-like website. The whole incident has been hushed up, but now it’s time for one of the survivors to come clean.
Not a bad premise, but not entirely engaging as a horror movie. It plays out more like an episode of one of those conspiracy shows that are clogging up the History Channel these days. Even though there are some effectively gruesome moments (The SPFX and gore are very well conceived), the film is devoid of any real tension because there isn’t any character to grasp onto or care about. The narrator is quite alive in present day; so we know that she’s never going to get infected and all the other characters that we see on screen, we’re told in advance will at some point kick the bucket (aka get eaten alive in a horrific bloody mess).
It’s worth a look if you’re a fan of found footage films, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it, there’s a lot better narrative films that have done this premise better (Check out James Gunn’s SLITHER)