‘The Bay’ and the Horror of Inaction During a Public Health Crisis

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores the horror movie The Bay.


The initial months of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic cast certain films in a new, prophetic light.

Contagion became a national obsession. Many took comfort in the similarities and ultimately optimistic conclusion of Steven Soderbergh’s multi-narrative thriller about a race to stop the spread of an airborne virus. Another staple of the “corona-canon” was Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. In the film, municipal leaders crumble under pressure to keep the beaches open, despite the insistence of scientists that there is a man-eating shark in the waters surrounding Amity Island. Politicians downplaying a deadly threat in order to keep business booming? Putting their own interests above the safety of their constituents? Heaven forfend!

Another film that, for my money, absolutely belongs to this prescient subgenre is Barry Levinson’s 2012 found-footage horror feature The Bay. In the film, a resort town near the Chesapeake Bay succumbs to a mysterious illness that quickly overwhelms their healthcare system and leaves the population in a panic. Local politicians are quick to downplay the severity of the infectious disease, for fear that a public health crisis could ruin their chance at re-election. As the following video essay lays out, even though the root cause of the disease is visceral and stomach-churning, the real horror of The Bay is the inaction and self-interest that allowed the infection to spiral out of control.

Watch “Let’s Talk About My Favourite HORROR MOCKUMENTARY“:


Who made this?

“Let’s Talk About My Favourite HORROR MOCKUMENTARY” was created by Ryan Hollinger, a Northern Irish video essayist with a background in design and animation who specializes in horror films. Hollinger’s analysis usually takes the shape of a personal retrospective. Indulging in a healthy dose of nostalgia, Hollinger’s videos are contagiously endearing, entertaining, and informative. You can also check out Hollinger’s podcast The Carryout on SoundCloud here

. And you can subscribe to Hollinger’s YouTube account here.

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