Director: Mark Jenkin
Stars: Mary Woodvine, Edward Rowe, Flo Crowe, John Woodvine
Mark Jenkin’s follow-up to the singular but over-praised ‘Bait’ is an oblique and elusive folk horror tale. Mary Woodvine is an unnamed volunteer environmentalist working on the Cornish Coast sometime in the 70s, recording the progress of a rare flower growing near the cliff edge. Her isolation is occasionally interrupted by the gruff local man (Rowe from ‘Bait’) who delivers petrol for the power generator. As she notes the changes to the flower, she notices a stone monolith style rock that appears to be shifting positions. Gradually, the boundaries between reality and fantasy are distorted and linear time seems to slip away. While its predecessor ostensibly dealt with the gentrification of a coastal village, this is a strictly vibes-only affair, featuring the occasional memorably unnerving flash of folk horror imagery, including a brief appearance by the star’s ninety-three-year-old father John Woodvine as a spectral preacher up to some old-timey unpleasantness. There are also knowing nods to folk horrors ‘The Wicker Man’ and, most notably, cult classic ‘Blood on Satan’s Claw’. Jenkins’ deployment of grainy 16mm film stock (in colour this time) and scratchy, degraded sound still feels distractingly affected though.
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