My Thoughts On… The Bay

Just a reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to Why Should I See This Film? which is spoiler-free!

Synopsis

Chaos breaks out in a small Maryland town after an ecological disaster occurs. (via IMDb)

What I Liked 

  • I watched The Bay on the recommendation of one Dr Kermode (not a personal recommendation, you understand. He reviewed it on Wittertainment), because I’ve been on the lookout for a decent horror film for a while. I’m not sure that this really counts as a horror; although it did make me jump a couple of times, it wasn’t out and out scary. It’s probably somewhere between a thriller and a horror, but it’s genuinely really good, and I’m glad I listened to Dr K (he tends to know what he’s talking about).
  • I watched The Bay in the same weekend as having watched The Blair Witch Project, and they are both ‘found footage’ films. I haven’t seen an awful lot of this type of film, but as I mentioned in my post on The Blair Witch Project, I often find myself thinking “Why are they still filming this?” I think The Bay gets away with it because it’s a collection of found footage, rather than just one person’s footage. There are mobile phone videos, police car dashboard videos, webcam videos, and it all comes together to make a film that doesn’t feel contrived at all. The story of the film is that the footage has been suppressed, and it is only now coming to light, through a journalist who was experiencing the events as they happened. This is definitely a good way to construct a found footage film, because there was rarely any point at which I wondered why the characters would still be filming.
  • As I mentioned, the film really, really made me jump on two separate occasions. I wish I’d seen this film at the cinema, as I think these two moments would have been even more effective. It’s also pretty gruesome; the boils and sores that start popping up on people’s bodies are truly disgusting.
  • This is a quiet, slow film. It really takes its time, and builds up to its climax really well. People who need their thrills and scares to be more obvious (“quiet, quiet, quiet, bang!”) will probably lose patience with The Bay (and that’s possibly why it has such a low rating on IMDb), but I really appreciated this about it.
  • I think the scariest thing about the film is that it feels as though it could really happen. Ultimately it’s a disaster brought on by irresponsible behaviour by local bureaucracy, and it causes death and destruction, and then there is a cover up. It’s a film with a message, which is unusual for a low budget horror film!

What I Didn’t Like

  • There’s nothing I didn’t like; I loved The Bay!

Why Should I See This Film?

The Bay is a really nice little film; it’s actually scary in places, which is more than I’ve found with some horror films that I have watched recently. I really like that it’s a slow and patient film – it doesn’t try too hard, so in those moments where it actually made me jump, it felt as though it had worked for it! It’s a bit gruesome in some places, but never gratuitously so, and it’s a film with an environmental message. It’s definitely, definitely worth a watch!

 

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