Normally I’m not a found footage kind of guy. They just aren’t the sort of thing that I get a kick out of. That said a few years ago I sat thru The Bay at Twelve Hours of Terror (a horror movie marathon hosted in a theater) and rather liked it. Some six years later I thought I’d revisit it and see if the movie held up.
Things start off with a woman telling her story via a Skype call. It seems that she was an intern covering what was supposed to be a boring old fourth of July celebration at a small town in Maryland. She mentions that there was a big conspiracy and that all of the footage you are about to see was confiscated. Luckily it was leaked and now everyone can know the truth. The story is told with the footage from the intern and her news crew, a couple with their baby, some dashboard footage from police cars, and your normal cameras covering commercial establishments (security cameras). Over all of this the reporter narrates.
Spoilers ahead: There is no way for me to give a plot synopsis without some spoilers. I wanted to warn everyone ahead of time. You can skip ahead to the last paragraph to get my recommendation about The Bay if you want to keep things a mystery. Okay? Last warning… There is a big chicken farm that has been dumping forty-five million pounds of chicken shit into the bay every year! Gross right? That shit is full of steroids used to accelerate the growth of the chickens so that they go from chicks to our dinner plates as quickly as possible. I guess not all of it metabolizes since those same steroids cause a particularly nasty little parasitic isopod to mutate. This thing hangs on a fish tongue causing it to shrivel up and fall off. Then the bugger feeds off the blood of the fish while acting as it’s tongue. Nasty little bastard. Well these things mutate get into the water supply and start eating everyone that comes in contact with the water!
In spite of being a found footage flick they manage to mitigate the nausea inducing shaky camera work that seem to dominate this subgenre. It makes sense since much of the flick is coming from stationary security cameras, dash mounted police cameras, and a professional cameraman shooting news reports. Since you can actually see what is happening it also allows for a couple bad ass jump scares like the first time we see an isopod. There are more but I won’t spoil them. Even though this was my second viewing they still got me with the scares. Some I forgot, and some still work even when I knew they were coming.
|Can't complain about the gore!
It’s kind of hard to get attached to the characters since they aren’t developed much, but instead are just being drawn along by the story. Though there is one little girl that is alone and scared. That was a bit tough to watch. The plot is solid and unlike many found footage movies actually has a story to tell rather than just randomly having characters wandering around. Far too many are just a couple of characters spending an hour being scared by sounds in the woods. The Bay is sharing the “truth” of the event.
The creatures are based on a real animal and the way in which they become dangerous is fairly realistic. That is lot scarier than a guy in a rubber suit. Something like this could happen and the government would fall all over themselves to cover it up, much like the movie claims. This is the sort of story that works really well as a found footage flick, since it makes the whole thing feel more real and therefore a great deal more frightening.
Well the Devil must be ice skating because I dig the Bay and recommend you check it out. Yeah, I just recommended another found footage movie. Damn I’m surprised at myself.
© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer