Barry Levinson opened his New York Comic Con presentation of his new faux-documentary horror flick, The Bay, with terrifying notion. “I wanted to make a film about the conditions in the Chesapeake Bay,” he says. “It’s about 80 percent real,” he adds, making an the entire theater shudder and scramble to cancel any and all future plans to travel to any bodies of water in the greater D.C. area. “It started with the bay being 40 percent dead and all this factual information.”
Now, excuse me, Mr. Levinson, but that sounds absolutely horrifying. Well, it is. Not only is the real-life bay in big trouble, but Levinson’s main antagonists, swarms of parasites, are real.
“Isopods are real,” laughs Levinson, adding, “You can ingest the parasite and they do grow large, so if you jumped into a school of them you would not do well,” he says, to which moderator Chris Hardwick replies (and we were all thinking it), “What the hell, Barry Levinson?”
Keep in mind, please, that all these little truths were revealed after the majority of the footage was revealed, including scenes of victims with pustules oozing on their skin as these swarms of isopods eat them from the inside out. (What a bummer summer, you guys.) One victim even looks so terrible, a few Con-goers mistook her for a zombie. This is real, Barry Levinson? What are you trying to do to us?
A lot, apparently. He doesn’t stop at facts. Levinson also says the filming process was done in a way that adds a layer of realism. Great. That’s all we need in a horror movie that could actually come true. More terrifying realism. “This one is almost like an archaeological dig,” he says. “We shot it for little over two million dollars in 18 days,” says the director, who also had his actors film their own scenes (in some cases) with items like iPhones and other handheld devices.
Of course, this horrifying truth-bending isn’t done without reason. Levinson ended on the note that the problems in the bay can be, and need to be, corrected. “The movie has a sort of environmental message,” he says. Has it come to this, America? Does Barry Levinson need to terrify us in order to get us to take care of the environment? Move over Wall-E, your happy heartfelt message isn’t enough. Here comes a million creepy crawlies ready to eat some lady’s face from the inside out. Can we take care of the Earth now?
[Photo Credit: Lionsgate]
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