The Bay (2012) Review


Rated R

84 minutes.

Written By: Michael Wallach

Directed By: Barry Levinson

The Bay is a found footage horror film surrounding the events of a gruesome environmental outbreak of mutated parasites during the annual Forth of July celebration. The film centers on a reporter who is thrown into this mess and her explanation of what the events were to the best of her knowledge. The film also dives into the topics of hysteria and lack of help from outside sources.

Director Barry Levinson is not known for his horror prowess as his most notable films are Rain Man, Sleepers and The Natural. Levinson is an accomplished filmmaker and I would say has had more success than failure. Lets see if that holds true for his found footage freak out.

• Different take on the found footage genre.
• Effective gore f/x.
• Good use of audio.
• Solid acting from supporting cast.

• Main character is annoying.
• Very heavy-handed.
• Over the top as story progresses.

I was happy with the ideas of the film as a whole and how they used found footage for something other than ghosts and demons. The idea of an epidemic and its effects on the town are done pretty well and the gore is used well and is very effective. The deterioration of people due to the outbreak is disturbing and the most shocking point in the film may be when several cops go to a house on a call, and the audio kicks in to a hysterical family that is asking to be killed to stop the suffering. Overall, the acting is good and the supporting roles and towns folk are convincing.

Now to the not so impressive, first and foremost, the main actor playing the reporter/narrator was very annoying and really did not provide much to the story from a narration aspect. The Bay became a heavy-handed attempt at showing how callas and impersonal the government can be even during times when people need comfort and a sense that someone cares. An unfortunate event occurs during the later part of the film when the parasite starts to become an over the top, unrealistic beast and it takes away from the attempt at creating real horror.

All in all Levinson and writer Wallach create a solid flick. The film has great elements and uses the found footage genre to its benefit. If only the person navigating us through the film wasn’t so annoying, the film could have been much better. I just wish they kept it ‘real’ and didn’t make it a rather outlandish hysteria piece.