Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Chaos breaks out in a small Maryland town after an ecological disaster occurs. (Roadside Attractions)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: David Cox
    Oct 29, 2012
    Levinson has always been acutely interested in the minutiae of human behaviour, and it's this concern that makes The Bay the triumph that it is.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Nov 1, 2012
    This astonishingly effective environmental nightmare is based on reasoning that, if you've been following the science, seems all too possible.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 4, 2012
    Is it, on some level, '70s-style horror schlock dressed up with contemporary gimmicks? Sure, but don't act like that's a bad thing! It's schlock with honor, schlock with a conscience, schlock that speaks to the way we live now.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Nov 6, 2012
    It's a small movie but an effective one, using found footage as a means to an end and not as an end in itself. More like it would be a welcome trend.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 1, 2012
    The Bay is better than a shallow exercise, but crabby horror fans may have preferred that Levinson took a real plunge.
  6. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Nov 1, 2012
    Despite a handful of legit creepy moments, the film's concern with superficial realism prevents it from really hitting home; its fuzzy, fractured depiction of disaster never comes close to conjuring the "holy shit it could happen here don't touch that doorknob" real-world paranoia of last year's artfully Hollywood-ized disaster film, "Contagion."
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Nov 1, 2012
    The Oscar-winning director of "Rain Man" - whose last film, the abysmal documentary "PoliWood" never went much further than the Tribeca Film Festival - demonstrates he can make a shakycam found-footage horror movie every bit as fake-looking, clumsy and unscary as your average college student working on a $200 budget.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 5 out of 14
  1. Apr 5, 2013
    By far the best "found footage" I've seen in recent years. Realistic and pretty close to what could happen in real life, if we screw nature too much. The fact that the film had no "main" heroes fighting with zombie hordes or supernatural beings, really added to the whole experience. Expand
  2. Jul 10, 2013
    The realistic feel of the found-footage genre helps tremendously here. While less of a horror movie than a disturbing and creepy eco-friendly mockumentary, it still delivers on the thrills and eery suspense. Expand
  3. Nov 14, 2012
    I kind like this film after I have watched so many boring,over-performed scary film.We all know after The Rec and The Blair Witch Project. Many scary movies copy their filming way(play out through handled camera). Some movies got succeed like Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield. But some movies are total garbage,like The Devil Inside ,Apollo 18 and so on. But this one, The Bay is really great actually. It focus more on the reaction of the local government and show us clearly how the disease spread out and people get sick and desperate. Expand
  4. Aug 29, 2013
    The Bay is a message hidden within a film, similar to 2008's the Happening, The Bay tells of the consequences of destroying our environment. In this film, dumping into the Chesapeake Bay has caused a harmless fish parasite to evolve into a human killer. What makes this film unique is the way in which it was shot. The film is shot as a documentary that was posted on a fictional Wikileaks type site, and tells the story of the outbreak in a small Maryland town, on July 4th. The cinematography is made up of everything you'd see at a small town festival, camcorders, cell phone cameras, news footage, police dash-cams, and security cameras. Through a collection of footage from the day, we are told the story of the outbreak by one of the only survivors, who had to let the world know of this tragedy that was covered up by the U.S. government. The different angles and the fact that their really weren't any main characters also make this film unique. The story really isn't much, as it just like a million other horror films. Everything is normal, until people start getting sick, and chaos ensues. It's not the story or even the actors that keep you interested in this film, it's the different pieces put together in documentary form by the narrator, Kether Donohue. Without the narration, it's just a collection of web clips, but there is some interest in finding out what happened to each of the people we see and in seeing them figure out what's going on at the same time that we do. It's not a great story and there aren't any stand out performances, but the film itself is done in such a unique way, that it will be like nothing you've ever seen before. Yes, The Bay is another way of telling us about the dangers of not caring for our environment, in a story that is severely lacking imagination, but it's worth seeing, simply from a stylistic point of view. Expand
  5. Dec 29, 2013
    Consensus: There's nothing scary or interesting in The Bay. It's nothing more than a low budget documentary with some intense moments and an unnecessary forced Found-Footage.
    MY SCORE: 38/100 (D+) BAD

    Directed By Barry Levinson

    REVIEW: Directed by the Oscar winner Barry Levinson and produced by Jason Blum, The Bay premieres in 2012 in 23 theaters in the United States and only regained the joking number of $30.668k and counted with a budget of $1,500,000 USD. The truth I'm not surprised that this film was a failure, because The Bay is terrible film and a real waste of time, but we'll discuss later. I have to accept that the trailer is awesome as the plot and Barry Levinson is a very talented director, but the idea of ​​making this movie in Found-Footage just ruin it completely, because this is very executed along the 84min. The Bay use the Found-Footage style to develop a plot well explained and a smart idea, but Levinson forget the most important: the audience!, The Bay is nothing interesting or entertaining, the audience will not understand the plot because is very complex. The Bay had the potential to be one of the best horror movies of all time, but the Found-Footage is the main problem here. We turn to another issue: The performances are extremely terrible, exaggerated and nothing believable; The only performance that I like and was believable, dynamic and realistic I would say that was Kether Donohue (Pitch Perfect), because the film completely falls on her and one could say that she is the protagonist in The Bay. Another problem is the absence of fear, the film didn't cause me any feeling, (just boredom), and didn't cause me fear, disgust, tension, neither entertainment. The Bay has much originality but this is wasted by the silly idea of ​​making this movie in Found-Footage style, most of the characters are pathetic and poorly acted, the film lacks of moments of surprises, horror, suspense and tension; And clearly has a few scares, but most of the scares and surprises of The Bay are ruined by the trailer because the trailer show us all the few scares that the movie has. So in conclusion The Bay is for me one of the worst horror movies in Found-Footage I've seen, and it's not what it seems in the trailer, The Bay it's just a low-budget documentary, boring, forced, 84 minutes of anything entertaining, full of bad acting and a silly and unnecessary camera recording.

    NICE: The plot is very original, the special effects, an occasional little scare, etc.

    FAIL: The film has an unnecessary Found-Footage (I mean the cameras that are recording for no reason, everywhere), many of the performances, and The Bay fails trying to hide its low budget with cheap scares and unenjoyable gory images.

    Watch This Movie If... you have very low expectations, also if you like documentaries, complex plots or if you want to see something different from all the new horror movies already made. Well I tell you that The Bay is a very good option for you.

    Don't Watch This Movie If... you passionately love the Found-Footage genre, or if you're a fan of the Jump-Scares, extreme scares, etc... Also if you like movies like Paranormal Activity, Grave Encounters, etc... Don't see this movie! because it's probable that you will hate it, because it's very different of these.

    Twitter: @MemoBosque Facebook: Guillermo Bosque Mendoza
  6. Dec 19, 2012
    This movie, like most found footage films these days, has its highs and its lows. Mostly lows. It documents a parasitic outbreak in a small town. The course of the outbreak is captured and the movie tracks several characters throughout the day. And that's it. Although the parasites are suitably disgusting and some of the scenes are quite tense, it's just not enough to carry a movie. There are no "wow" moments to really speak of. No real sense of creativity. And there is absolutely no payoff. The movie just sort of ends without any kind of resolution or finality. And to top it off, the one thing that I absolutely hated was the narrator. The girl who is supposed to guide the viewers through this traumatic event is about as lifeless as tree bark. Her monotone voice drones on and on and what's worse, she completely spoils any surprise. You see characters on screen then you hear her say "oh by the way, this person died later". Wow, way to build suspense. I say skip this one unless you're really bored and have an hour and a half to kill. Expand
  7. Sep 16, 2013
    Without a doubt one of the worst horror films I have ever seen. Not only is this whole found footage thing so played out but it was so poorly done in this film that it was flat out laughable. And let's not forget that the acting was incredibly weak and it wasn't even scary! This is the kind of trash you expect from a straight to video release and not from a film that was released in theaters. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews