More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “The Bay,” a found footage eco-horror movie about a community beset by a strange waterborne illness — not a powerful autobiographical documentary about director MIchael Bay triumphing over his fear of referring to himself in the third person.
Director: Barry Levinson
Cast: Kether Donohue, Christopher Denham, Nansi Aluka
Current Criticwire Average: B- (out of 13 critics)
Official Synopsis: “Two million fish washed ashore. One thousand blackbirds dropped from the sky. On July 3, 2009 a deadly menace swept through the quaint seaside town of Claridge, Maryland, but the harrowing story of what happened that Independence Day has never been told — until now.”
“The tension is like a parasite that worms its way into your brain. Waiting, patiently, for the just the right moment to strike.”
“Surprisingly satisfying, like ‘Jaws’ for the YouTube/Skype era.”
“An eco-horror film whose scares linger long after the credits roll.”
“An unnerving eco-disaster thriller that refreshes the found-footage trend with surprising effectiveness.”
“‘The Bay”s taste-blind aesthetics might be a brilliant mimicry of crowd-sourced amateur media-making as it proliferates online, but you have to distance yourself from the spot-on simulation of kitsch in order to admire it, and that process precludes engagement with it as drama.”
“The Bay” is now available on VOD, iTunes, and in limited release.