You would think the found footage genre would have run its course by now, but clearly it hasn’t. The most popular genre for this filmmaking style seems to be horror, with them either working or going horribly wrong, but it all hinges on the right story and use of the style. The latest The Bay comes from an unexpected director in Barry Levinson. Could this well-known director deliver something new and fresh to this genre or will it just be another found footage film you wish stayed lost?
The Bay is a found footage film chronicling the small town of Chesapeake Bay and the strange outbreak that killed off almost the entire town. There are so many of these films at this point it seems to be more about fighting what’s good in them than expecting much new. The Bay is billed as a horror film, but isn’t the kind of horror you would expect, actually it could be conceived as much worse. What makes the idea of this film so terrifying is that it is based in real life in a situation that isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Sure, some of the science is questionable, but it’s a movie so you have to let that go. The format this film is laid out actually works better than most of this found footage genre. It’s crafted using clips from numerous scenarios and the reasoning behind the cameras work fairly well. There are some moments here and there that come off a bit silly and the film does move a bit slow with little to no scares, but instead they are all in the fear of real life circumstance and fear you create in your mind.
Everyone will have a different reaction to this film. If you let yourself look at it from a real life approach then you are more likely to enjoy it a bit more and get the fear behind it, but if you just let it happen as a normal film there is a high chance you will find it slow and a waste of time. Decide what you want out of this film before taking the chance.