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The Bay Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Although there are some scary moments here, and a lot of gruesome ones, this isn't a horror film so much as a faux eco-documentary.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    One hell of a creepy little eco-horror picture.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Fake docu about disturbingly believable gory disaster.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Bay -- a horror movie about a terrifying, murderous environmental disaster -- is made up of "found" footage from various video cameras (it's presented as a documentary but is fiction). There's lots of death and blood, as well as a general disgusting, disturbing tone as survivors try to figure out what the culprit is and how it works. Language is strong, with several uses of "f--k" and "s--t," both spoken and written (in text messages and emails). In one scene, a teen boy and girl flirt briefly before going swimming; the teen girl is shown in her bra. The Bay comes from the creator/producer of the Paranormal Activity movies, though it's unlikely to have the same kind of draw.

  • Families can talk about The Bay's violence. What's the impact of seeing dead bodies in large numbers vs. people getting killed off one by one in (as in a slasher movie)? How does a movie's plausibility affect the impact of its violence?
  • Does this movie's premise seem believable? Does the fake documentary format help? Why do you think filmmakers are drawn to that format?
  • What does The Bay have to say about the environment? Should we, as citizens, be more aware of what's going on around us? How?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: A cautionary tale -- albeit a bloody, scary one -- The Bay could inspire teen viewers to be more aware of environmental issues and how man's actions can change things in both subtle and drastic ways.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Donna is a college-age reporter who survived an ordeal and later pieces its story together on video. From her vantage point of hindsight, she criticizes her own prior ignorance and her on-camera performance. But on the positive side, she has learned from her mistakes and shows a great deal of bravery and selflessness in trying to tell her story to the world.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Dozens upon dozens of dead bodies -- including kids -- with lots of blood (dripping and oozing) and amputated limbs. Also dead fish and birds. A creepy bug jumps out of a fish's mouth and later burrows out of a man's neck. People, including a young girl, have weird boils and blisters covering their skin. Characters throw up blood. They eventually describe the perpetrator: a mutated parasite that not only eats its victims from the outside in but also from the inside out. (Victims' tongues are eaten, but this isn't shown.) There's a general sense of disgust and discomfort throughout the movie. A baby is part of a particularly scary scene.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Two teens flirt briefly before going swimming. A teen girl is shown in her bra/bathing suit. A married couple is shown being comfortable with each another and kissing. While watching herself on video, Donna makes a comment about how tight her pants are.

  • language false4

    Language: Strong language includes several uses of "s--t" and "f--k"; they're also shown in text messages and email. Other words include "son of a bitch," "damn," "hell," and terrified uses of "Jesus" and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Google and YouTube are used on various computers.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue