Sunday, December 18, 2016

Brillianty Brackish - The Bay

I had an earlier post about the things that make good found footage films: namely, innovative use of the cameras and an organic storytelling that requires such an approach.  A few nights ago I discovered another one: The Bay.

Set in the Chesapeake, this clever little film starts with the interesting premise of the strange phenomena Charles Fort wrote about. In this case, scores of dead fish filling the bay, and flocks of birds falling dead from the sky. They start off with actual footage of these events, then diverge from them to tell a suspenseful story about a mutated parasite that wreaks bloody, disgusting havoc on the Fourth of July festivities in Maryland.

Scariest of all? These are real. From Tree Hugger
There were many great elements to this movie, first and foremost the storytelling. It was entirely believable in every way, and the use of different cameras was explained as the collation of different footage that provided an explanation for the environmental catastrophe, but that had up to this point been suppress. The movie is the leak of this footage, so to speak. So we got lots of different styles of footage, each thoughtfully directed. My absolute favorite was the scope inside a dead fish to show isopod parasites eating the fish from the inside out.

I never liked arthropod types to begin with, but my god, this movie has some utterly gross special effects--masses of people vomiting blood, giant isopods going in and out of people's toes were tingling while I watched. That doesn't happen all so often, so kudos to them.

Helping the very realistic feel of this was a solid performance by the cast all around. It was fresh and unpretentious, the characters behaved as people entirely aware of themselves being filmed, and it made their story resonate that much more as it unfolded.

All this, and it still had time to say something very powerful about government bureaucracy, crisis prevention, corporate accountability, and industrial waste. I was very impressed.

K Rating: 9/10

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