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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

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  • 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: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 6 out of 15
  1. Jul 7, 2014
    More than just a good eco-horror flick with documental-style direction, The Bay is a fantastic examination of the political intrigue brewing beneath the "community-interest" campaign while constantly leaving us breathless with some visually impressive elements of horror and shocking discoveries. Expand
  2. 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. Collapse
  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. Feb 26, 2013
    It was only a matter of time before the found footage craze drew a bona-fide name-brand Hollywood filmmaker into its ongoing vortex. The story behind "The Bay" is that the US government coverup an--outbreak that wiped out the town of Claridge, MD in 2009. All cameras and footage related to what happened were confiscated by the government, but now someone has compiled and the truth about what happened in Claridge, MD beings to leak out. Although this is placed in the horror genre--containing some tension and gruesome moments-this is comes of more of an eco-scare. The footage is a combination of the news filming of Stephanie and her cameraman, as well as other various form's of camera footage.This combination of POV adds an element of interest and realism to the film, expanding the storyline beyond what could have been achieved by a single camera held by a single individual. The movie jumps around town to give more comprehensive coverage of the crisis--sort of like if "Contagion" was told from a first-person point of view, and isn't nearly as good. The film follows the findings of a pair of marine biologists, who discovers species of benign organisms that appear to be evolving--into something more mischievous.

    Levinson seems more interested in spreading a green message--than terrifying.viewers. There's nothing wrong with that, but audiences lured in by the trailers may be disappointed despite being well produced. The best found footage films "Paranormal Activity" and "REC's", immerse you fully in the hellish situation, and make you feel as if you're part of the terror. "The Bay" simply never does that, but it's an admirable attempt at something a bit different.
  5. 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
  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 15 User Reviews