Movie Review: 'The Bay' -- 3 stars
Directed by Barry Levinson
Starring Kristen Connolly, Kether Donohue, Christopher Denham
In one sense, this isn't the best weekend for "The Bay," a nifty horror flick from director Barry Levinson about a water-borne disaster that ravages a small Maryland town. But that's where the parallels with Hurricane Sandy end.
Levinson's movie, a multimedia extravaganza, is centered on a deadly parasitic isopod infesting the Chesapeake Bay and the horrors it wreaks on the bay community of Claridge. An amalgamation of Skype images, e-mails, website close-ups, surveillance footage and handheld home movies, it's a dynamic achievement, a fine cinematic escape from the real-life devastation.
The film advances the found-footage tradition started by "The Blair Witch Project" by attacking the tragic day of July 4, 2009 from multiple fronts. Structured as an expose by reporter Donna Thompson (Kether Donohue), the film combines scenes drawn from across the spectrum of life in Claridge to reveal its total, horrifying collapse.
Levinson, a Hollywood veteran with films such as "Wag the Dog" and "Rain Man" to his credit, appears reinvigorated by the "outside the box" nature of the project, smartly building tension and a sense of ominous foreboding with the various media here.
In short, "The Bay" is a brutally effective eco-horror piece. You might not be up for fictional environmental terrors anytime soon, but when the time's right, seek it out.