Found footage films like Levinson's current incarnation, "The Bay" seem to dwell in the black or white extremes of the genre, either being unsettlingly exciting like "The Blair Witch Project" or wholly hokey, like "The Blair Witch Project 2."
And while even Levinson’s prowess can’t keep certain Bay scenes from feeling less like intentionally inexpensive exploits and more like amateur-hour accident, the Eco themes and ergonomic use of them blend well with the film’s intended horrors. If you’re at all Eco inclined – and really who isn’t these days – or current events keep you constantly thinking, “The Bay” preys soundly on those speculated themes and nightmarish scenarios. Levinson burnishes the picture well with stylish scares and a documentary feel, turning and churning the pulled-from-the-headlines plight and giving it an entertaining and paralyzing atmosphere, without being overly preachy. Considering all the sub-text and global messaging, the extras menu is surprisingly sparse, with Levinson only talking tip-of-the-iceberg in “Into the Unknown,” while offering some redemption in his director commentary as he balances nicely both environmental and filmmaking information. So with a great director at the helm and a disturbing message being delved, “The Bay” is an ominous harbor for all things naturally creepy.
Studio Synopsis: Two million fish washed ashore. One thousand blackbirds dropped from the sky. On July 4, 2009 a deadly menace swept through the quaint seaside town of Claridge, Maryland, but the harrowing story of what happened that Independence Day has never been told – until now. The authorities believed they had buried the truth about the tragedy that claimed over 700 human lives. Now, three years later, a reporter has emerged with footage revealing the cover-up and an unimaginable killer: a mysterious parasitic outbreak. Told from the perspective of those who were there and saw what happened, The Bay unfolds over 24 hours through people’s iPhones, Androids, 911 calls, web cams and whatever else could be used to document the nightmare in Claridge.
Running Time: 85 minutes
Number of Disks: 1
- Audio commentary with director Barry Levinson
- Into the Unknown: Barry Levinson on “The Bay” Featurette