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The Bay by Marcelo Zarvos (Review)

posted Dec 13, 2012, 7:55 PM by Kaya Savas

Marcelo Zarvos and Barry Levinson have a good thing going on with their collaborations. Scores like What Just Happened? and You Don't Know Jack were terrific. For their third collaboration we see both storytellers venturing into a genre where we would least expect to see either of them. Honestly, would have ever guessed that Oscar winning director Barry Levinson would make a found footage horror film? Well, he did and he did something no one has done, and that is hire a composer for it. What is the one thing that The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity all share in common? It's no score. The films themselves are void of any non-diagetic sound. So the fact that The Bay has a score is very interesting. What Marcelo Zarvos does here is nothing out of the ordinary, but his unique sensibilities do allow him to craft a unique score. It won't wow you, scare you or terrify you but it does build an atmosphere and does have some nicely structured cues.

Now, I say that the score won't scare you and it won't. It's not meant to and you can tell just by the approach of the music. Zarvos' intention here is to absorb you and maybe make you feel just the slight bit uncomfortable. The music has a strange Italian twinge to it that gives it a distinct identity. The rest of the score is a lot of playing with dissonant notes, electronic sounds and cues that build with suspense. The only real jarring track is "Alex In The Mirror" and it's affective in its approach. However, by the end of it there wasn't any lasting impression on me. I didn't feel the need to go back and listen again like I usually do with Marcelo Zarvos' scores and this is coming from a man who thinks The Door In The Floor is absolute beauty perfected. I would have liked to see him experiment more musically such as how Christopher Young did with Sinister. The end result of Sinister was a score that made me need a new pair of underwear. However, the score here is serviceable and it's nice to see two master storytellers attempting a new genre together.

The Bay is a decent little experiment from Barry Levinson, and it was great to see Marcelo Zarvos continue his collaboration with him. The two make a fantastic director/composer combo that has resulted in some terrific and memorable work, but I don't think The Bay will be part of that. It's a serviceable score with some decent qualities, but not enough to make you sit up and take notice.