Friday, September 13, 2013

Freaky Friday: The Bay

A young woman narrates the opening of The Bay by introducing us to the town of Claridge, Maryland and what it used to be like...before. Yet, the inciting event remains hidden. We're told that the confiscated footage on the events of July 4th have finally been recovered thanks to a website that goes after government leaks. Sadly, the scenes of sweet small town life run too long. It's an attempt to make the viewer care--or at least feel concern--about the town and it's inhabitants. But, really it just delays the mystery and slows the pace. The woman's voice also has a pitch that grates on the ear. When we get into the meaty part of the plot, it's revealed through interspersed footage from different sources. It's not easy to follow...until the screaming starts.
The movie picks up after the initial "event", but the woman continues to do voice over narrations which detract from the impact. Had the director allowed the footage to play out with quick shots of text to explain any ambiguities instead of the voice over, it would have been less distracting and more powerful. But, se la vie.
The other frustration is the oceanographer team. The female part of the pair has a thick accent and the male repeats most of what she says to clarify. Pointless. If you're worried the audience won't understand the character, then subtitle her or use a different actress. All of the film is meant to be true to life, so lots of "um", "ah", "sorry", and "excuse me" in people's speech. But, just as those things should be eliminated in book dialogue, so too should it be stricken from movies. It doesn't make it more real, just annoying.
Now all that said, I did find the development of the film interesting. I'm not sure entertaining is the right word and it's not scary exactly, but it has an intriguing quality to it. I kept wanting to know what happened, how it would unravel and ultimately, what would be the end result. I can't quite put my finger on what hooked me, but it kept me watching. And I'm a bit of a sucker for found footage genre. All in all, not the best; not the worst.

Rating: C

Have you seen it? What's your take on The Bay? A Must Watch or a Delete From DVR?

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