The Bay

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Three years after a Chesapeake Bay community was overwhelmed by a toxic mutation, cub reporter Donna Thompson (Donohue) works feverishly on uncovering the cause of the catastrophe.


Barry Levinson's effective dip into found-footage shock territory plays much more like a documentary than a Blair Witch, piecing together a jigsaw-puzzle narrative from a huge number of credibly imagined sources: phone and surveillance cameras, Skype conversations, TV crew. The Bay of the title — Chesapeake, Maryland — is suffering an infestation of revolting flesh-eating isopods. At once a queasy body horror, a don’t-go-in-the-water yarn and an epidemic disaster movie, the film’s single-day narrative renders it a far bleaker experience than Soderbergh’s Contagion, where there was at least time enough to find a solution.

Veteran director Barry Levinson takes full advantage of the immediacy of Camcorder tech to create a joltingly nightmarish vision of social meltdown.