Beauty and the Best

The Bay

Mini Review - Barry Levinson's "The Bay"

The first thing I thought when I saw this on iTunes is: “What’s the director of ‘Rain Man” and ‘Disclosure’ doing messing around with a found footage flick?” Then I realized it probably wouldn’t be too bad expressly because of Barry Levinson’s involvement, and I was right. The Bay is an ecological disaster thriller focusing on a strange biological organism that has infested the eponymous body of water in the title. As a result, all manner of grotesqueries ensue - I guarantee you’ll squirm. One really smart thing Levinson did here was rely on a critter for the bad guy that actually exists in real life - the super creepy looking, ancient isopoda. These things feed on just about anything that drops to ocean floor, but they also occasionally crawl to the surface making for a nice fright fest. (It reminded me a little of Ridley Scott using "Nottingham lace,” which is the lining of a cow's stomach, for the interior of the original egg in Alien.) However, in reality, isopods they don’t own up to their menacing appearance. Since most people have probably never heard for them, it which allows them to make for an effective baddie and they also look super realistic because, obviously, they are.

The movie has a brisk pace and starts off with an infected person having a meltdown at a town fair. All of this is reported to us by the super cute and curvy Kether Donohue, who plays a reporter telling the story from some unknown location after it all went down. She’s one of the survivors. Of course we learn that greed is at the heart of all this, as a corporation tied in with local politicians has been dumping tons of chicken dung right next to the bay for longer than anyone can remember. The chickens were farm raised on steroids and their manure, consumed by the isopods, causes organisms to become faster growing, aggressive, human flesh eaters.

The movie got a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, which for once is about right. It’s not a top tier horror movie, but it’s definitely not bad either. Check it out.

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