Found Footage movies is not something I would associate with Barry Levinson, the Oscar winning director of Rain Man. Yet this 2012 film sees Levinson dipping his directing toes into the horror genre. Will the resulting film produce somehting new into this tired genre?
On the Fourth July 2009 the population of Chesapeake Bay are meant to be enjoying the festivties. However when the townsfolk start developing a blister like rash on their bodies they realise there may something in the water of the Bay.
For a found footage movie this at least tries to do something a bit different. Levinosn has given the film a touch of class and it certianly looks more impressive (and it probably had a bit more money) than than the average film of this genre. It also helps that there isn’t just one person running around capturing the action as it unfolds when they should put the camera down and get the hell out of there. We see various people’s videocameras, Podcasts, police car camera, Skype etc. It helps make this seem like a widespread problem affecting a whole town as we see snippets of mulitple storylines as it moves across the whole town. The acting is affective and not melodramatic as can sometimes be in horror movies. The special effects and makeup is also very good and appropriately disgusting and grusome as one would hope for.
Although the film does come up with reasons for people to be filming the events,as at some points it does stretch credibility. As one character asks another “Is it really necessary for you to keep filming?” you can’t help but feel like they are speaking the minds of the audience. Also the film is more about the build up of tension and dread with one or two shocking moments rather than a wtaching behind the pillow full blow terror. The ending feels rather abrupt as well, maybe needing a more clixmatic ending.
Rating 3.5/5 – If you’re looking for an Academy Award winning director’s take on the found footage genre then give this thrilling eco-disaster movei a try