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By James Whittington, Sunday 17th March 2013
The Bay - DVD Review
Extras: Inside The Bay - Featurette, Trailers
The found footage genre has been around for sometime and was starting to look a little stale. Luckily The Bay has arrived injecting some originality into it. It’s even more surprising to learn that it comes from the director of Rain Man.
The quaint coastal town of Claridge, Maryland thrives on the safe, tranquil and abundant waters of Chesapeake Bay. During their annual Independence Day celebrations, a gruesome plague is unleashed, quickly infecting the residents and turning them against each other.
Bloody and graphic, The Bay comes from the producers of Sinister and award winner Director Barry Levinson, who together deliver a stark, disturbing and truly nerve-shredding tale of an ecological nightmare. Made up entirely from digital footage taken during "the incident", The Bay is a smart take on the found footage idea, similar in design as the last few reels of The Chronicle meaning we get footage not just from handheld cameras but from security cameras, webcams, off-air TV broadcasts etc.
The voyeuristic feel to the film makes it feel as if you’re intruding into a very private admission. The whole story is held together by a Skype interview with key witness Donna (Kether Donohue) who was working as an Intern reporting on the Independence festival. We get to see how the whole horrible event unfolded and how an innocent celebration turned into a gruesome disaster. One of the key sequences that highlight just how graphic the movie is going to be is when the crab eating contest turns into a regurgitation display of meat and blood. Talking of which the effects are quite superb with the strange little creatures being wonderfully realised in CGI. The cast handle the bizarreness of it all with honesty. There a few clunky performances but on the whole the film is well delivered and just goes to show that this genre can still retain a few surprises.
The Bay is a well made and rounded ecological horror experience with plenty technical expertise on display to show others (are you listening the makers of the Paranormal Activity franchise?) just how to inject originality into the genre.
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