DIRECTOR Barry Levinson WRITER Michael Wallach; Barry Levinson STARS Will Rogers; Kristen Connolly; Kether Donohue DVD & BLU-RAY 18 March

The BayPiecing together its story in multi-format, The Bay is an interesting spin on found footage. Inspired by and set in the real-life Chesapeake Bay, Barry Levinson — horror a surprising departure for the director — presents what is on the surface an eco-disaster movie, but also a political statement on the futility of independence — the events depicted take on place on 4 July — due to the ultimate irresponsibility of authority.

It’s certainly an intelligent approach, the story told in retrospect using found footage to illustrate a whistle-blowing exercise; not unrealistic in this technological age, so adding a predictive sense to Levinson’s ecological warning. Unfortunately the formatting falls victim to an over-zealous edit that delivers the footage in snippets that, while not exactly rapid-fire, does not allow a momentum to be created. As such, there is no hook, which is certainly unassisted by 20 minutes of build-up that treads water as opposed to progressing the story.

Ultimately, The Bay is a case of style over substance, and a tad self-indulgent for it; a lack of heed to the viewer’s interaction with the story is what lets it down, which is ironic for what could be interpreted as a nod to the advance of transmedia storytelling, and unfortunate for what is clearly a passion project.

Posted by Naila Scargill

Naila is the founder and editor of Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, 
ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance. She is the Culture Editor at Trebuchet, and generally gets around.