Resin Heroes

The Bay Movie Review

Grade B+: I’ve been interested in seeing the movie The Bay ever since I’d heard about it last year when it was originally called Isopod. But other than a poster and trailer that was released a few weeks, I hadn’t heard much about The Bay until last week. That’s when a flood of new information about the movie began hitting the internet, just before (surprise!) the official release of the movie last Friday.

Presented “found footage” style via news reports, security cam footage, web chats, etc., The Bay takes place in a small Maryland town over the course of the July 4th holiday. What starts off as a typical celebration turns sinister as people around town begin experiencing weird rashes and boils across their bodies. As this new disease progresses and the local hospital and CDC try to uncover and contain this outbreak, things spin out of control as these rashes and boils begin to literally consume the people alive from the inside out. Is this a new disease or something else?

The Bay is being sold as a horror movie. And while there are certain horrific elements to it, I wouldn’t call it a true horror film. It’s more of an ecological thriller in the veil of Contagion (2011). Here, instead of our modern travel system making the transmission of new diseases faster than ever before, it’s water pollution mixed with invasive species that cause trouble for mankind.

And while it might not really be a horror movie, all throughout The Bay the director Barry Levinson (Copper, Homicide: Life on the Street) and writer Michael Wallach infuse the movie with an incredible sense of dread that never lets up until the very last second of the movie. While watching the The Bay, there were times that I’d find myself tensing to the point that I’d have to tell myself to relax.

The Bay works best when the bad things are only glimpsed or are presented just off screen. In the two most unsettling scenes in the movie, the terror comes from sounds heard outside a house and sounds heard from people investigating the town. What you imagine is going on with those sounds is much worse than anything the writer or director could have shown the audience.

The Bay is currently playing in select theaters and is available on demand.