Movie Review: “The Bay”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 9:00 am.

(Photo: Automatik Entertainment)

Summary: Something in the water ain’t clean… in “documentary” style; a mysterious plague devastates a small Maryland town on July 4, 2009. Due to a government cover-up, no one knows about the horrific day — until now. One survivor lives to tell the bloody tale.

Review: The Bay is exactly what you want from a horror film — scares, blood, suspense and a no-brainer premise. Is it a groundbreaking film? No. But it will satisfy viewers who enjoy the genre.  The true test of a scary movie is if the flick stays with you after the credits end. A day later, I found myself looking at the water with hesitation…

“Found footage” horror flicks have been beat into the ground. With Barry Levinson as director and a script from Michael Wallach, The Bay doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel, rather it follows the formula and adds its own pizzazz with an intriguing storyline that makes you say, “Could this really happen?  The environmental thriller didn’t need the gimmick of handheld footage to satisfy audiences — if The Bay were not a mock-doc, you would still feel the gruesome dread that plagues the all-American town. Men, women and children are bizarrely breaking out into massive boils and their tongues are falling off.  The flick smoothly does its job, narrowly avoiding B-movie lane. The writing, acting and superb editing from Aaron Yanes wonderfully and terrifyingly builds tension for a solid climax that is worth the ride.

The only disappointment in The Bay is that audiences (especially horror fans) will want more gore. For example, one scene takes place outside of a house full of victims with the cops coming to their rescue. We only hear the creepy audio, which sounds frightful, but it’s one of the film’s rare missed opportunities for what could’ve been a horrific moment.  Levison wants the viewer to let their minds go wild, but it was less imaginative and more disappointing.

Overall, a sophisticated, polished and skin-crawling environmental horror flick.

The Bay opens in select cities today.

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