Found footage horror is usually the domain of entry-level directors and cheapjack producers who have no problem using smeary images and awkward ellipses to cover for incompetent filmmaking. So what was Barry Levinson — he of DINER and GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM — doing slapping consumer equipment into his cast’s hands and sending them out to shoot their own footage? It turns out that Levinson — no stranger to breaking the rules of standard film production (after all, his political satire, WAG THE DOG, was shot on the quick-n-dirty during an involuntary hiatus from the filming of SPHERE) — was whipping up THE BAY, an effectively disturbing eco-terror tale in which a Maryland fishing town is decimated by a quite vicious parasite born from the rampant pollution of Chesapeake Bay. In the process, he also managed to teach everyone how effective the found-footage technique can be when it’s used as a tool and not a crutch. Somebody had to.
Our coverage of New York Comic Con 2012 concludes, belatedly, with the roundtable interview Levinson gave during the con in support of the film.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions release the latest entry in the faux-documentary horror sub-genre. Chaos breaks out in a small Maryland fishing village: after an ecological disaster, the residents become infected by water-borne parasites that take control of their minds and bodies.
Bary Levinson directed from a script by Michael Wallach.
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Jane McNeill, Christopher Denham, Michael Beasley, Kether Donohue, Anthony Reynolds, Andy Stahl. Rated R.
Opens in limited engagements on November 2, 2012:
Tempe – Valley Art 1 Theatre
Berkeley – Elmwood 6
North Hollywood – NoHo 7
Pasadena – Playhouse 7 Cinemas
San Francisco – Kabuki 8
Santa Monica – Monica 4 Plex
West Hills – Fallbrook
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington – West End Cinema
Baltimore – Charles Theatre
Silver Spring – AFI Silver Theatre Culture Center
Brookline – Coolidge Corner Theatre
Birmingham – Uptown 8
St. Louis – Chase Park Plaza Cinemas 5
Kew Gardens – Kew Gardens Cinemas 6
New York – Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center
New York – Empire 25 Theaters
New York – First & 62nd 7
New York – IFC Center
Cleveland – Capitol Theatre 3
Houston – Sundance Cinemas 8
Salt Lake City – Broadway Centre Cinemas
Seattle – Sundance Cinemas
Madison – Sundance Cinemas
In this week’s installment of the Cinefantastique Round Table Podcast, Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski analyze the hot topics in the world of horror, fantasy, and science fiction films: Sony Pictures will finance and distribute the new James Bond Film; Barry Cooper may star in THE CROW; Peter Jackson films THE HOBBIT in 3-D and at 48 frames per second; RIO celebrates a box office victory of SCREAM 4; and Lionsgate picks up director Barry Levinson’s docu-style eco-horror film THE BAY (aka ISOPOD). Also, Lawrence French offers a capsule review of RIO and finds it a surprisingly refreshing step up from the ICE AGE sequels.