THE BAY: “Creepy, Crawly, Scary Fun”

Kether Donohue as Donna
Jane McNeill as Victim #1
Anthony Reynolds as Steve
Kristen Connolly as Stephanie
In theaters November 2

It’s a beautiful day in the idyllic bay side town of Claridge, Maryland. It’s the Fourth of July and celebrations are in full swing: parades, picnics, pie eating contests, and face painting for the kids.  All is well until a woman covered in red boils and sores comes down Main Street screaming for someone to take her to the hospital.  Fear and panic begin to spread as people begin to get sick – some begin to vomit blood and drop dead in their tracks.  The epidemic spreads throughout the town. The hospital emergency room begins filling up with people exhibiting symptoms of some unknown illness. Doctors are stumped, as is the CDC. What caused this outbreak? Is it viral? Is it bacterial? How far will it spread?

The Bay is a chilling tale of modern survival horror told by the intern news reporter that survived the outbreak.  The film rolls out in a realistic documentary style. Donna (Donohue) is giving her firsthand account through a Wikileaks-type website. With clips of found footage from numerous cameras, cell phones, and websites, the bulk of the story is seen through the footage she and her photographer shot throughout the day. Most of the footage had to be recovered because the government confiscated it during the investigation of the outbreak.  It all began a couple of months before, when a team of oceanographers came to Claridge Bay to study the toxin levels in the water. They discovered that Claridge Bay has a higher than accepted norm of toxic levels. This is mainly due to a chicken processing plant nearby that has been dumping chicken waste into the bay. The waste products are also contaminated by the extremely high amounts of steroids that the chickens ingest. There have been incidents of hundreds of schools of fish washing up dead on the shores nearby.

The scientists inform the mayor of their findings, but no response is given. As they continue to investigate, they find that these fish are riddled with parasites. That in and of itself is not too unusual, but what is unusual is the size of these parasites. They are larger than normal; much, MUCH larger! And they are eating the fish from the inside out. Before the oceanographers can complete their report, they go missing. Their bodies are found in the bay days later. Looking like they had been half eaten, recovery workers think it must have been a shark attack.  The CDC continues to try and find the cause of this “outbreak” and it has no clue. The only advice it can give to the head of the Claridge Hospital ER is to get out of the city – just up and leave. As the day progresses, Donna and her cameraman continue to document the tragedy as the town dies all around them.

The story continues to roll out very realistically as you are bombarded with all the information from all the different sources: News camera footage, Skype conversations between doctors and the CDC, police car dash cams, and one teenager tells her story to a friend through FaceTime on her cell phone.  Director Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Bugsy) does a great job with carefully balancing all the media to give you a chilling, suspenseful experience. Within a few hours you see this beautiful picture perfect community become a corpse strewn deserted wasteland with infected bodies everywhere! Victims that are literally the walking dead!

I admit this movie really got to me. If you have a problem with creepy crawlies getting under your skin, this movie will scare the living daylights out of you! I am a hardcore horror movie veteran and there were scenes in this movie that had me jumping, screaming, and covering my eyes asking, “Is it over yet?”  Even though it’s November, I bet after seeing this movie, you might think twice about taking that swim in the lake next summer.  I know I am! If you like horror movies, “The Bay” is creepy, crawly, scary fun – Don’t miss it!

5 out of 5 stars.

Check out the trailer for “The Bay” below:

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