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This definitely is one of the more original found footage movies. It's less gimmicky and actually uses its footage creatively and effective.

Instead of having one character walk around constantly with just one camera, this movie is a compilation of various found footage material, compiled together to tell its chronological story. On top of that, it gets told almost like a documentary and as an objective observation of events that caused people to die, in a small town. The way the story is getting told and the way it uses its various footage is the foremost reason why "The Bay" is a good watch and an effective found footage movie.

Because it uses so many footage, the story is getting told from various different viewpoints as well. It gives you an almost complete view of the events, from start till finish, from the standpoint of random citizens, newscasters, police men, doctors and whatever more. It's interesting and provides the movie with plenty of variety. After all, in essence this movie of course still remains an one note movie and I also do have to admit that even while this movie is only 84 minutes short, it still feels too long and could had wrapped up things way earlier. There was only so much they could do with its main story and premise and they stretched it out for as long as they could, which also was a bit too much unfortunately.

I said it had a documentary like kind of style and approach to it but that doesn't mean it actually feels like a documentary as well though. I seriously doubt this movie can fool some people in trying to make them believe it's real all. It all times still feels like you are watching a movie here. It's not a negative thing in this case, since it really doesn't ruin the overall movie experience. It still feels and looks like a very convincing movie and all of the events do come across as plausible.

One of the things that makes it mostly obvious you are watching a movie here is its acting. It's really a mixed bag. At times it works, at others it really doesn't. Because it's a found footage movie, also mostly unknowns got cast, who unfortunately just weren't always among the most talented actors. I can get that the movie mostly wanted to have unknown faces in it, to add to the overall realism but at the same time it also destroys some of its realism because the acting can get a bit lacking at times. It's a catch-22 but on a positive note, things could had been way worse, acting-wise. It isn't completely horrible but it can get a bit distracting at times.

You could also say this movie got released too late. It bases itself loosely on the whole media hype when animals suddenly started to drop dead, all over the world. That whole hype has died down, a long time ago already and it has become apparent that it's less mysterious and uncommon than the media tried to make us believe. But still, if this movie got released at the top of its hype or right after it, this movie might had some box office potential. I just don't think anyone is now going to care about this movie anymore, which is a bit of a shame since it definitely deserves to be seen. Definitely more so than most other horror found footage movies anyway!

It's definitely a good and perfectly watchable movie, that surprisingly enough got directed by Barry Levinson. Not the type of guy you expect to do horror or a low-key found footage movie but it shows he still has plenty of creativity in him as a director and the will to keep improving and developing himself as a film-maker.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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