The Bay Grown up Found Footage

The Bay DVD

After passing over this film on the Playstation store repeatedly, I finally watched the trailer and it caught my interest. I watched it and decided to “give it a go.” I’m glad I did. Although it uses the “found footage” formula that is quickly become a new genre of film, I agree with David Cox of The Guardian, who awarded the film 5 out of 5 stars and called it a “horror film for grown ups.”

The plot is a very realistic one. A big businessman in a small seaside town in Maryland is dumping toxic waste into the bay that the town depends on for their water and for holiday trade. The toxic levels rise in the water breeding a sort of super bacteria that mutates into a parasite that is eating fish alive. From the inside out.

During a Fourth of July celebration, the town’s people and tourists contract the bug and chaos ensues.

The film was directed by Barry Levinson and written by Michael Wallach. It premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in theaters on November 2, 2012.

Overall the film has received good reviews from critics, despite a low “overall” score from IMDb of five and a half percent. Levinson who directed Good Morning Vietnam, yes that Levinson, does a brilliant job considering that the budget was obviously very low; which appears to be common feature amongst “found footage” films. (With the obvious exception of the huge budget for Cloverfield.)

The cast was all unknowns, which helped to sell the film’s realistic theme. While not too compact, the smaller setting of a town plagued (excuse the pun) by a virus or bacteria that causes multiple deaths and abject paranoia by the citizens worked for me. The addition of what looked like stock footage of police cars and ambulances racing to scenes and the young “trainee” media type who is there to catch the whole thing on tape, made it seem more of a documentary than a film.

It impressed me that Levinson could take the found footage formula that is, in my opinion, being done to death and make it into something fresh and interesting. It just goes to show that low-budget doesn’t have to mean low expectations.

While the film doesn’t work for everyone, I enjoyed it and it actually “creeped” me out at one point. The main reason being the plot and the reactions of the authorities and the experts at the CDC who were attempting to help via the internet. The CDC with their, in the beginning, smug know-it-all attitude which slowly devolves into concern, then panic, was just one other factor that sold the film.

The Bay is available on the Playstation store as a rental or for purchase. It is also available on DVD, I don’t know if it is on Netflix or any other “legal” streaming site.

I’d have to give the film a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Worthy of a look, The Bay is definitely a winner in the found footage “sub-genre” of horror and as David Cox said, it may just be the first “grown up” horror film. While I can’t agree 100 percent with the statement, the film definitely deviates from the many “hack and slash” and supernatural films on offer in the “sub-genre.”

the bay

The First 500 are the Hardest

The First 500 are the Hardest

I had a litte moan about 200 followers ago about the fact that after the big 2-oh-0h that WordPress didn’t give you any sort of fanfare for the 300 or the 400 follower mark. Little did I know that they wait until the 500 mark to say a big, “Well done!”

I cannot say that it got here all too quickly, because that would be a lie. It seemed to take no time at all to get to the 200 point and then?

It felt like time stood still for  awhile. But it didn’t, not really.

It was just that things had changed, the way I wrote changed, the amount I wrote changed…my  life changed.

I won’t go through everything that has changed in my life, I did that in my previous post. But I will say this, I cannot begin to express how grateful I am about everything.

But first I have to thank two very, very special people (Actually it’s three, but who’s counting?)

I have to do a huge shout out to Marilyn over at Serendipity she and her other half, Garry, have been enormously supportive ever since I first made their acquaintance on WordPress. She has a wonderful blog and if you haven’t strolled over there yet, just take a second to click on the above link and have a look. You’ll be impressed, I promise you. Then, if you’ve a mind to, hit that follow button. You won’t regret it.

The second person I have to give a singular shout out to is Natasha over at Films and Things. Natasha is a media student, writer, director and producer all rolled into one person. She has given me, perhaps the greatest gift ever, she has cast me in the lead role in her first professional short film, Once Bitten, Twice Shy. As those of you who have been following me for awhile, I’ve written about my love of acting and my frustration at having to turn my back on it, several times. Now I have a chance to get back in front of the camera after a long absence. Thanks Tasha!

I also, have to thank Natasha for putting me up for an award, a loooong time ago, and I still haven’t responded to it! Sorry Tasha, it means loads that you thought of me when it came time for dishing that one out, I will make it up to you, I promise…

But I also need to thank all the other folks who have stuck with me since I started on WordPress. If I thanked all of you separately, I wouldn’t get anything done as the Deputy Managing Editor for The Guardian Express. If you haven’t had a look at our great site, have a look now by clicking on the link. I’ve already been linking articles that I write that have a special place in my heart, either because of content or just because I think I’ve written something particularly well. But I don’t link them all, as we have a lot of writers who all bring something special to the table.

I’m not going to get back on the “apology train” again, but I will get back to something that resembles “normality” on here pretty soon. I’m running around like a headless chicken at the moment, trying to develop a schedule that allows me to donate a little time to everything. I’m getting closer to that goal and you will soon see more “daily” postings of articles.

Until then, I want to say thank you to all my new followers! I haven’t had time to thank you all personally yet, but I will! I’m not so far up my own nether-regions that I don’t think I need to. I’ve just not had the time.

It takes a lot of hard work to do a daily blog. You all know that, I don’t want you to think I am “teaching you how to suck eggs,” but I did want to mention it.   I was doing up to three, if not four, posts a day, now I don’t have the time. But I will get back to at least one per day.

So, in essence, I started writing this about how it really feels like getting the first 500 followers is the hardest part about blogging and, like my life at the moment, it has evolved into something different than what  I had planned.

Thanks to my very special two bloggers (friends) and thanks to the folks that are too numerous to personally shout out. But you guys know who you are, until recently, I always tried to talk to you folks daily if possible. I’ll get back to that soon as well, I promise.

So until I can get on here again, may all you very special folks have the best of today and an even better tomorrow.  I mean that, because you’ve all got a very special place in my heart.

Ciao

Cheers!
Cheers!