The Bay

By Jonathan Holin

Released: 2012

Directed by: Barry Levinson

The Bay is a horror mockumentary that tells the tale of an ecological disaster on July 4 in a small Maryland town. The story is told after the event by a young reporter (Kether Donahue) clarity on what happened, as the government seems intent on covering it up.

Using found footage leading up to and during the event, she pieces together an understanding of what happened, how and why?

Something is in the water in the bay, causing people to break out in blisters. Is it a bacteria? Viral fungus? Is something eating these people from the inside out? All cases eventually lead to violent and painful death. The town of Claridge steadily descends into chaos on its most important day as more people come down with this strange illness.

If you’re looking for the kind of movie with quick jumps and scares, The Bay is probably not for you. There are a few of those, but this is a slow film with an ominous build-up and open ending, making it as much of a plea to the audience to care about clean water and ecology as it is a warning, albeit an unrealistic one.

The Bay makes use of lurking fears about the unknown and the ever-present possibility that you’re life could end at any moment for any number of reasons. This is perhaps especially important to remember on days such as the anniversary of America’s independence. Too much is taken for granted.

The Bay made me feel the same way about water as Jaws did. You never do know what might be in it.

Rating: 6/10

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