But you’ve got to grant a movie its premise, particularly when the film is as taut and effective as this one (its release two days after Halloween is, to say the least, puzzling). There aren’t than many big scares (there’s a few though — there’s enough); it’s more that Levinson casts an overall spell, via the crispness of his editing and the believability of his performers, with a big assist from Marcelo Zarvos’s creepy score. Found footage horror gets a bit of a bad rap these days, its critics pointing to lesser efforts like The Devil Inside and the Paranormal Activity sequels as proof that it’s a refuge for sloppy filmmakers and lazy thrills. But this stuff is harder than it looks, and The Bay is a good, tight, scary movie. I’d have never guessed that Barry Levinson had it in him.
The Bay is out today in limited release; it’s also available on demand.