Water Shock: ‘Eco-Apocalyptic Nail-Biter’ The Bay Takes Tired Found-Footage Horror Concept to New Depths
A horror film by the estimable, sober-minded Barry Levinson? Why not? The veteran director of such earnest endeavors as Rain Man, Diner, Bugsy and Sleepers has always entertained a lighter streak. He began his career writing The Carol Burnett Show, and Wag the Dog was a political satire. But a genuine hair-raising creature feature is a real departure. Say hello to The Bay.
Using the time-tested conceit of “found footage” popularized by films like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, the meticulous Mr. Levinson, with the urgency of a naturalistic screenplay by Michael Wallach and appealing performances by a cast of unknowns, has created a chilling sense of cinema-verité panic that keeps you spellbound and enlightened at the same time. The found-footage horror concept is usually restricted to tales of the supernatural, related after the fact. This is the first time I’ve seen it used to reveal an ecological catastrophe, showing the phases of a natural disaster and a government cover-up through multiple media sources, webcams, closed-circuit cameras, cell phone footage, news reports, video coverage by a rookie intern on a morning TV show on her first assignment and various victims whose goal is to tell the surviving world what really happened. The facts that emerge baffle the Coast Guard, the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Homeland Security. Your hair will stand on end. Read More