Found footage becomes a different animal under the direction of a major-league director like Barry Levinson (“Rain Man” and “Diner”). “The Bay” is plenty scary but this isn’t your usual found footage horror fare; it’s a faux documentary carrying a very real eco-message.
Released in the U.S. in 2012, Levinson was a few years ahead of the Obama administration’s attempts to spread the bad news to climate-change deniers.
Set in a Maryland town on the Fourth of July, “The Bay” is packed with gruesome examples of eco-breakdown, starring Kristen Connolly (“Cabin in The Woods”) and Christopher Denham (“Argo”). Chesapeake Bay is polluted beyond words, freeways are clogged with cars and the fish in the bay are being killed off by a waterborne parasite that in turn infects the residents.
People die under terrible circumstances and the screams make you want to cover your ears and pretend it’s not happening. But it is. The consequences of factory farming, runoff from the soil of contaminated poultry farms, radiation leaks — it’s all there. Two years ago, “The Bay” was fiction. Now it looks too much like the evening news. With masterful and all-too-prophetic storytelling throughout, “The Bay” could be what Judgment Day will really look like.