Thursday, March 28, 2013
Well, I can see why The Bay might have missed the mark with a few folks at the box office. It's not 28 Days Later-like as the trailer kinda leans towards. It's more of an eco-horror film about the "what ifs" involved in pollution in a local area. And, I loved it.
Firstly, Barry Levinson Directed it. Barry "The Natural, Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man, and more" Levinson. The man is fan-frucking-tastic!
The film is a found footage film, but it's done properly. They've used various video sources, but they do it in such a way where the framing isn't perfect and the aspect ratio of the visual changes based on the device. As someone who is constantly rolling his eyes as perfectly framed found footage, this aspect helped to keep me firmly locked in the reality the film was trying to present to the audience.
Which brings me to another aspect of this film that I loved - the story. Barry Levinson and Michael Wallach (with just The Bay under his belt currently) present a scenario that I found to be believable and frucking frightening. Thought a series of political, economic and tragic events, a bay in Maryland - Levinson's birth place - is polluted and some of the small creatures that live in it's waters are not so small anymore. They have also managed to get into the town's drinking and use water...which can't be a good thing. The body horror in this film had me squirming. It's not "slasher fear", it's grotesque and nasty business that was made very real.
I really enjoyed this film. The pace and flow of it was grand. We're introduced to characters enjoying 4th of July festivities who we are told are going to be dead by the evening and it brings a rather dark tone to the whole of the film. And, an intense feeling of dread. We know things are going to get very bad very quickly and we are not given a chance to warn anyone - it's already over. And, the fact that there are very few recognizable faces in the film makes things more believable as well. Kristen "Cabin in the Woods" Connolly actually wrecked this for me. When I saw her, I thought, "Oh...it's her," and it took me out of the film a bit.
This is far from an action film. It's not a zombie film, infected film or anything of the sort, either. It's a monster film if anything. Very tiny, nasty little monsters.
Like a slow burn, plot based gross out with a very real feel to it? You'll love The Bay.
METACRITIC gives it 65 out of 100. I'd go 80 easy.