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7.10.2013

The Bay (2012)



Barry Levinson's 2012 thriller The Bay is a pretty captivating film. Harnessing the variety of digital communication modes that are such a part of daily life, the film breathes some new energy into the found footage school of films.

Part gruesome horror film, part ecological cautionary tale, The Bay takes the real-world issues of carnivorous isopods and industrial pollution and combines them to horrifying effect. Those shots of downtown Claridge on Independence Day are pretty harrowing. There's an undercurrent of tension as the audience waits for the first manifestations to reveal themselves on camera, and that poor woman screaming for help while walking down the center of the street sure doesn't alleviate any of the anxiety. From there, Levinson turns on the schlock. They really busted out the red dye and corn syrup for this one, folks.

All in all, I liked it. Devoid of easily recognized stars, the movie screams toward its harrowing conclusion. You won't look at water quite the same for a day or two afterward, and that's a sign of a decent scary story--if it takes something ubiquitous and vital and re-imagines it in a horrific light. 

I'd give it a B-, which is far more charitable than many of the reviews I read online. I think there's something there, and I'd give it a shot if you like a little tension with your speculative creature features...   

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