An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.
Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student's disappearance.
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
The parasitic crustacean depicted in the film is Cymothoa exigua (Schiødte & Meinert, 1884), as known as tongue-eating louse. The female parasites fishes by attaching itself to their tongue where extracts the fish blood causing the thong to atrophy. The parasite then replaces the fish's tongue and feeds on the host's blood or mucus. That explains why many townspeople are found with their tongues extracted. See more »
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 »
"The Bay" certainly marks an offbeat choice of material for its Oscar-winning veteran director Barry Levinson ("Diner", "Rain Man"). The premise is that the residents of the small oceanside town of Claridge, Maryland, become victims of a horrifying ecological disaster. Naturally, authorities have tried to suppress the truth, but it's now coming out thanks to the work of people like reporter Donna (Kether Donohue). It's determined that possible excess improper disposal of chicken excrement may have accelerated a mutation in the life of animals called isopods. They're absolutely hideous parasites that eat away at larger animals from both the inside and outside. Now there's an outbreak of these things, and people are suffering some pretty nasty deaths.
For this viewer, what gave "The Bay" an edge over other, similar entries in the "found footage" sub genre are two things. First, there is some attempt made at a realistic depiction of the events. While there are the expected gross out moments (and very nice makeup effects) and jump scares here and there, Levinson mostly focuses on human reactions to the escalating crisis. Second, the characters are thankfully not purely annoying as one might come to expect from this sort of thing. Yes, we have your standard-issue slimy lowlife politician, mayor Stockman (Frank Deal), but again, Levinson doesn't dwell too long on stereotypes, but gives us a scenario that's gripping. We can sympathize a little too much with the idea of infection, and wince at the tortures that individuals must suffer through. The scenes are presented in the form of footage culled from video cameras, web cams, and cell phones, and one can get caught up in the story.
Performances are decent enough from the no-name cast, who look more like real people than can be found in more mainstream fare. Location work, camera work, and lighting are all more than adequate. Also, we never see too much of the menace, but get just enough visuals to squirm in our seats.
Overall, this is solid entertainment.
Eight out of 10.
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