Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Bay

(2012) **

Something is happening in the Chesapeake Bay. In a small Maryland community two researchers discover a high level of toxicity in the famous water. Concerned about their findings the two attempt to have the mayor shut down the town’s annual Independence Day festival. However, had they seen Jaws, Blood Beach, Piranha, etc, they would know that the mayor never shuts down a celebration. Meanwhile, homely aspiring TV reporter Donna is given her big break when she is asked to cover the celebration. Her focus soon changes when townspeople start dropping dead covered in boils, consumed by parasites. Determined to get to the bottom of things Donna starts her own investigation and soon learns that the government is paying off survivors to shut the hell up about a growing environmental disaster.

What a bait and switch! Barry Levinson advertises “The Bay” as a horror movie but it is really a preachy environmental message (not that there’s anything wrong with that but I don’t want it in my horror). Copying the “found footage” format Levinson lets his story unfold with web cams, security footage, cell phone cameras, and of course homely Donna’s news footage. There are a few standout visual moments and the parasites are vile, but The Bay is never scary and is too overt in its expository preachiness (see also: Contagion). Apparently Levinson was inspired to make this film after learning that 40% of the Chesapeake Bay is dead and although he was originally going to make a documentary about this he thought that he could better get his message across via a horror movie. Jerk. How dare he make me learn something while I watch horror?


Octopunk said...

I thought that reporter was cute! You just hate short hair.

Otherwise, I'm totally on board with your review. The trailer promises a big horror sandwich. I can't believe he thought about doing a documentary and then decided a fake story about giant leeches would be better. Wow.

Catfreeek said...

The shaky cam stuff in that trailer was enough for me. I really hate when the trailer misrepresents, they are jerks.

Landshark said...

Man, I came across a mention of this recently and actually made a mental note to check it out. Thanks for taking the hit for me!

DCD said...

Damn! That preview looks like it's a much better movie (I finally got around to watching it.) What a bummer!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

That's so unfair! It reminds me of On Deadly Ground where Steven Seagal gives a 20 minute speech at the end about saving the environment. *shudder*