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This "found-footage" film is set in 2009 in the town of Claridge, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. During the town's annual 4th of July Crab Festival, townspeople become sick, exhibiting a variety of symptoms, which leads local news reporters to suspect something has infected the water there. No one is sure what it is or how it's transmitted, but as people start to behave strangely, and others turning up dead, fear spawns into panic. The town is shut down as government authorities confiscate video footage from every media or personal source they find, in an effort to cover-up the incident. But one local reporter who witnessed the epidemic, was able to document, assemble, and hide this film in hopes that one day, the horrible truth would be revealed . . . Written by
Michael Hallows Eve & Colonial Oak
There's an external shot (56:25 into the movie) in total darkness, captioned '8.58pm, July 4th' There's no way it'd be pitch black at that time, on that day of the year in Maryland, where the film is set. The sun only sets at 8.35pm on that day of the year at that latitude. See more »
There's forty-five million pounds of chicken shit dumped into the bay each year.
I mean look at that, that's entirely made of chicken shit.
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A small town on the coast of Maryland has a bizarre outbreak of some kind in the middle of their 4th of July festivities. The symptoms are strange, disgusting, and quickly don't add up. The hospital can't figure out what it is. Within 24 hours the town is in chaos, surrounded by the national guard, and quarantined. A small town novice reporter was on scene covering the 4th of July and she describes what happened with the help of her own camera footage as well as other digital evidence pieced together from a variety of sources.
It has some of that Blair Witch camera work which I normally despise, but for this documentary style flick it worked really well and I think this is the best example of its genre I've seen.
The thing about this is that once we come to understand the origin of this outbreak it sounds like something that really could happen. The chain of events that cascaded into this disaster was surprisingly complex and at the same time very on point with the risks industrialization poses to the environment and to us! I don't think I've seen a threat in a horror movie this well thought out in many years. It all made sense once you understood what was happening but it definitely comes out of a blind spot in the horror realm.
This is not simply a mutated flesh eating infection, a curse, or anything quite so simple but neither does it have the histrionic level drama that some horror junkies need these days. This is weird horror in the realm of the real.
I never thought I'd say this, but I was glad when I found little discrepancies in the portrayal of the collapse of the infrastructure, hospital and police procedures, etc. While watching it, my mind was going into overdrive trying to find reasons that 'this isn't real; this really couldn't happen like this.' There were a couple of scenes that were chilling in how similar they were to actual news stories. I felt an emotional outpouring of sympathy for the victims. It was like watching one of these catastrophes like hurricane Katrina or hurricane Sandy where you just feel so bad for the people involved. Of course the difference was this was a bit more bloody and once you come to understand the nature of the biological danger it goes to a whole new level of revulsion.
I kind of wanted to see holes in it to find some respite from the growing anxiety. I felt like some of those holes were there in a couple of gratuitous shock value scenes that fell a little flat, and in the response from the government. But when you look at the lack of response hurricane Katrina got in the first 24 hours maybe one of those holes isn't so big after all, though the conspiracy-style cover-up in the movie was a bit much.
All in all, this film will make your skin crawl!
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