Blu-ray Review: THE BAY

PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount

Review: The Bay /Cert: 15 / Director: Barry Levinson / Screenplay: Michael Wallach / Starring: Kristen Connolly, Will Rogers, Christopher Denham, Kether Donoghue / Release Date: March 18th

The Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, is officially 40% lifeless. Decades of pollution – chemical contaminants, agricultural and urban waste – have contributed to the worrying deterioration of a once-pristine body of water which brought pleasure to hundreds of thousands of locals and American holidaymakers. Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson (Rain Man; Good Morning, Vietnam) became so concerned by the toxic devastation wrought on one of his favourite childhood haunts that he decided to highlight the bay’s plight by dramatising it as an ecological horror movie, merging the conventions of the found-footage format with a specific element of barbed social commentary. But where The Bay undoubtedly works as a gruesome and disturbing body horror, the overriding sense of 'this couldn’t really happen' inherent in the film’s outlandish dramatic scenario ultimately serves only to detract from the very real-world problem Levinson is trying to bring to his audience’s attention.

Three years after a hushed-up viral outbreak in Claridge, Maryland, reporter Donna Thompson (Donohue) has managed to liberate and assemble all the recorded film footage – CCTV, camera phones, private video recordings – to tell ‘the true story’ of an infestation of parasitic ‘isopods’ which have thrived on the bay’s plentiful sources of waste material, specifically torrents of chicken excrement routinely (and really) dumped into the water. These squirmy little buggers grow inside the human body, which sprouts suppurating boils and pustules, eventually driving the host mad as they’re eaten inside out. Before long the whole town is littered with the dead and the recovered footage shows the attempts of the local medical authorities and the Centre for Disease Control to isolate the cause of the infection and ease the suffering of the infected and the attempts of those unaffected to stay alive as all around them falls apart.

Levinson himself calls The Bay a 'cautionary horror tale' but in reality it’s just another forgettable entry in the found footage genre. Levinson’s message, worthy as it may be, is lost amongst the blood and gore and the pure sensationalism of a story which is often so bereft of real scares it has to resort to a couple of obvious and uncharacteristic 'jump shock' moments just to remind us we’re watching a horror movie and not something filmed on a cheap camera phone. The Bay manages to convey a sense of panic and horror but anything more meaningful and, indeed, cautionary, is lost in the general lo-fi schlockery of the entire enterprise.

Extras: Making of documentary / Trailer


Suggested Articles:
As far as alluring film titles and lurid thrillers go, giallo films have always ruled the roost, and
Initially almost buried by the studio that bankrolled it, and subsequently reappraised to such exten
Nisekoi: False Love Season 2 starts with Chitoge mulling over her romantic feelings for Raku despite
The director Tony Scott is generally associated with his mainstream actioners, from Top Gun to Unsto
scroll back to top

Comments  

 
0 #1 Jack Bottomley 2013-10-13 21:30
I found The Bay to be a very impressive use of the found footage genre, urgent, meaningful and in all honesty better than Soderbergh's overrated Contagion. Levinson attempts to utilise the genre to convey our paranoia of government and our fears of environmental decay. I really liked the film as a result.
Quote
 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE 22 April 2017

PERFORMANCE 22 April 2017

NISEKOI SEASON 2 22 April 2017

THE HUNGER 22 April 2017

MIDNIGHT SUN 22 April 2017

ELSA: FRAULEIN SS (FRAULEIN DEVIL) 21 April 2017

SHERLOCK SERIES 4 20 April 2017

DRUNKEN MASTER 18 April 2017

THE CHUCK NORRIS COLLECTION 14 April 2017

BLOODY MUSCLE BODYBUILDER IN HELL 10 April 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner