10 years ago today, one of the best jump scares in cinema history arrived 2 months ago

10 years ago today, one of the best jump scares in cinema history arrived

You can't say we didn't warn you...

When you think about "the best jump scares of all time", everyone probably has their own personal favourite one that they reckon was the best one ever.

Advertisement

You could go for some famous old school examples like the hand at the end of Carrie or the sudden appearance of Leatherface in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

You could also go for something much more modern, like when the creature pops up behind Patrick Wilson in Insidious, or the lawnmower scene in Sinister.

But arguably the greatest jump scare of recent years is from a movie that you've probably never even heard of, let alone seen.

The Bay was released in cinemas on 2 November 2012 (bizarrely, a scary movie released two days after Halloween), to absolutely no fanfare.

Advertisement

Despite being directed by Oscar-winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Disclosure) and produced by Jason Blum (Get Out, Paranormal Activity), it seemed almost as if the film was intentionally brushed under the rug.

It did decently with critics - 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, including a five-star review from The Guardian, who described it as "A Jaws-for-grownups horror that excels on many levels." - but it absolutely tanked at the box office. Despite only costing $2 million to produce, it actually lost money, making just $1.6 million worldwide.

In hindsight, the movie would pair excellently with another horror-movie-disguised-as-an-ecological-disaster, 2011's Contagion. The plot of The Bay revolves around a seaside town in Maryland, where two million fish have suddenly washed ashore, and over a thousand birds have begun dropping dead out of the sky.

Advertisement

Nobody has an immediate answers, but the government quickly tries to shut down any and all ways in and out of the town until they get a handle on things, which proves to make the situation even more volatile.

As the locals - all played by relative unknowns, adding to the tension of who will or won't make it to the end credits - try to figure out what exactly is going on, it becomes clear that the contagion of the fish and the birds has jumped species and is now infecting the townsfolk.

It all leads up to a planned escape, with a young woman and her newborn baby discovering an abandoned police car in the middle of the now-desolate town, while a conversation between government officials plays out of her actions.

To say anymore would run it, but if you want to check it out without context of the whole movie, we've attached the scene in question below. But we do highly recommend you check out the full movie in order for that scare to land with its full impact.

Advertisement

The Bay is available to stream on Shudder, or to rent on Google Play and Apple TV.

And one last time... if you don't want to ruin the scare for yourself... don't click play on this: