The Bay (2012)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Story has potential to be scary

Format of the film and storyline are developed enough for scares

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Bay

Studio:  Alliance Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  September 13, 2012 (Toronto International Film Festival)/November 2, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


Miss Crustatean welcomes you to the town where the critters eat you!!!

It is Fourth of July in the Chesapeake Bay area and in the city of Claridge, Maryland. When people suddenly start coming down with lesions, hospitals begin to fill up. A young intern reporter named (Kristen Connolly) documents the events occurring and the stories of the infected and the attempts to shut down the spreading infections are chronicled. A mutation is occurring in the bay involving organism being affected by various pollutants and now the government is moving in to stop it from getting out.

Directed by Barry Levinson, The Bay is an environmental based horror film. The movie is prevented in found-footage format and is based around a collection of reporter footage, security camera, and face-time footage with a narration over most of the movie. The movie received mixed to mostly positive reviews.


Worst sunburn…ever…

The Bay was marketed as a bit more of a monster movie than it really was. Yes, there were “monsters” (the Cymothoa exigua mutation isopods), but most of the horror really comes from the unstoppable nature of the spreading infection and the fear how easily something like this could occur. The movie does have a few jumps but most of them are rather predictable.

I will give The Bay this, it is a horrifying concept which draws upon a lot of recent environmental news reports. Waters are getting hotter, runoff and big fish kills are occurring, and areas of the ocean are becoming “dead zones”. The creepy Cymothoa exigua mentioned in the movie do exist but aren’t harmful to humans. They consume the tongue of a fish and “replace” the tongue with themselves to eat whatever the fish catches. If The Bay had played up this creepy aspect a bit more (the organisms latched to human tongues), it might have been really terrifying, but it would have lost some of the realism.


This little guy is fun until it lays eggs under the skin and eats you from the inside out

I am not a huge found footage fan because it is awful hard for found footage to find the right balance (I can’t really think of any that have perfectly found it). The problems surrounding found footage films are that first you have to deal with shaky “unprofessional” camera work that helps keep budgets down by not shooting everything perfectly. Second, you have the question of why people are filming (which in this film isn’t too distracting), and third, the actors are supposed to be more natural and usually not the most skilled actors. The fourth problem is the ending problem…if it is a survival horror film, rarely does anyone survive…aka no real ending. The Bay has a bit of this problem with no real resolution.


He won the 4th of July smile competition!!!

The Bay is creepy but just doesn’t cross over the line for good horror. It is more environmental than horror…the infected aren’t zombies but just dying slowly. I would have liked more monster or more horror to make this a good movie…instead it is slightly better than an average film. The decision to try to develop the couple with the child, the police, and the mayor failed and hindered the film as a real drama.  It isn’t very long (under an hour and a half) so it isn’t much of a commitment, but it might have you thinking twice about jumping into the ocean if you have “critter” fears already.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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