2012 / Director. Barry Levinson
Whenever I tell people how much I dislike "found footage" films there seems to be a few of them that pop up to discredit me. The Bay is one of them. Barry Levinson is a good director and he's given us some wonderful films such as Rain Man, Diner, Good Morning Vietnam and Sleepers to name just some. However the past decade hasn't been good for him with a slue of mediocre projects that fell flat on their face. Wisely he has decided to tackle something new and The Bay is his take on the found footage genre. The premise is that on a 4th of July afternoon in a small bayside town, an unknown outbreak kills off almost the entire population. Starting with the statement that the government suppressed all footage from cameras, phones and surveillance the film then begins from the point of view of a web-based organisation who are attempting to expose the truth. Using as much gathered footage as they can find, the film pieces together a story of pollution, corruption and coverup. At 71 years of age, Levinson has experimented in a comparatively new genre here and he's done it well. The footage he's created from various mediums and the tension he's built with it is to his credit. Besides a couple of startling jump moments he has avoided turning to cheap trickery to scare his audience and he lets the panic and uncertainty of the situation frighten us instead. I was impressed. With a nice short running time of 84 minutes the film doesn't overstay it's welcome, although it does finish a little too abruptly... almost as though he threw his hands up and said "that's it. I'm over it". Some more closure would have been nice but nevertheless this is a cool and innovative eco-horror flick!