Do you ever watch a trailer for an upcoming movie and sort of hope it won’t be that good, because you know if it is, you’re going to have to wait what seems like forever to see it?*
Well, with The Bay, I saw the poster (above) and thought OK, bland title, but it looks interesting. Body horror! Maybe even a creature feature! As soon as the trailer started I thought, oh shit! Not more found footage! My current opinion on found-footage horror movies, based on sitting through one too many of them, is that for every great, entertaining found-footage horror movie there’s about ten boring, forgettable, frustrating, or just downright shitty ones, now that everybody has cashed in (or at least tried to) on it.
…seems like a fresh breath for found footage horror. Actually, a pretty fresh breath for a medium-to- wide-release horror movie, whether it’s found footage or not. Contagion was very effective, but did the virus manifest itself in the form of parasites eating the infected ‘from the inside out,’ including their tongues? No, it did not!
The trailer for The Bay RAINED found-footage clichés.* Opening of trailer consists of transcript of a woman calling 911, the operator calm but the female caller crying and panicking? Check. Title card describing vague mysterious incident that happened in specific location on specific date? Check. Title card informing us that the US government/military/CDC has held back this footage (…Until Now )? Check. Someone earnestly talking to the camera about how important it is that this footage gets out? Check. Screams, crying, other incoherent sounds of people seriously losing their shit off-camera/out of frame? Check. Security-camera footage integrated? Check. Shaky-cam? Check. Night-vision? Check. Skype? Check. Sound of police radio, walkie-talkie or other static-y communication device indicating the situation is deteriorating/ escalating (“…repeat, we have a code blue, request back-up immediately…”)? Check. Picture suddenly going into static/pixels right after jump moment? Check.
I’m going to stop listing them now out of compassion for you, the reader, but it’s safe to say we hit the majority of them here. However, there’s not nearly enough clichés to make me roll my eyes and forget about it the second the trailer ends. Check out the trailer for The Bay below…
Did that look boring? Nope! Here’s what the trailer has going for it that I think most horror fans, even those that found-footage has just about worn out their welcome with as much as me, will make a mental note NOT to miss The Bay for:
- What seems like a fresh plot for found footage horror. Actually, a pretty fresh plot for a medium-to- wide-release horror movie, whether it’s found footage or not. Contagion was very effective, (I’m not even a mild germaphobe, but it made my blood run cold more than once) but did the virus manifest itself in the form of parasites eating the infected ‘from the inside out,’ including their tongues ? No, it did not!
- ‘Body horror’. Someone involved in the creation of The Bay has to be a Cronenberg fan.
- Also, gory medical horror is all but guaranteed from the trailer.
- Since the novelty of found footage dissolved, I’ve found the smaller number of characters it focuses on, the less excited I get about seeing it. The Bay seems to have an ensemble cast and a larger scale.
- The ‘Miss Crustacean’ Beauty Pageant is already fun as hell – imagine adding body-eating parasites into that scenario. Hopefully during a Fourth of July parade.
- Certain moments in the trailer gave me a genuine feeling of dread.
- A strong “Don’t Screw With Mother Nature” theme
- The sense that we might get we may get an ‘all hell completely breaking loose resulting in total fucking gory chaos everywhere’ scene. When the film-makers get it just right, I practically levitate and forget everything and everyone around me, including the fact I’m sitting in a theater… and when really done right, repeat viewings give me the same high, and just as pure. I realize that it sounds like I’m talking about uncut Heisenberg-formula blue crystal meth cooked up by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman themselves when I try to describe my visceral reaction to these kind of scenes …but I’m pretty sure there’s no narcotic in the world that could make me feel as great as I did watching, say, the last act of The Cabin in the Woods.
- OK, I admit it– The Bay had me at “eating them from the inside out”.
You can find the official website for the upcoming flick here, though as of this writing, all it has is a trailer and the words, “Coming Soon”.
*Now all the reviews from TIFF are coming in, and everyone has more or less raved about the movie. The word “skin-crawling” comes up a lot in the reviews. The only complaints are that it’s too gruesome, and OH GODDAMNIT HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT TILL NOVEMBER 2nd? THAT’S OVER A FUCKING MONTH! OK… breathe…
**Let’s see, where’s that list for my Found Footage Horror Movie Drinking Game™ I was putting together? I’m not joking. I’ve been jotting things down and I still plan to post it once I add some more clichés, then figure out a way to lay out the rules so no-one ends up passing out halfway through the movie.
- ‘The Bay’ trailer: Check out the clip for Barry Levinson’s found footage horror movie – VIDEO (insidemovies.ew.com)
- The Conspiracy, Found Footage Done Right (awesome-robo.com)
- New ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ Clip Sees Appearance of More Ghosts (aceshowbiz.com)
- New Theatrical Trailer for Grave Encounters 2 (Electric Boogaloo) (horrorboom.com)
- Creepy First Trailer and Poster for Barry Levinson’s Found Footage Horror Film THE BAY (collider.com)