‘Interest is off the scale’: Cornish cinema fans snub Avatar for local folk horror

Mark Jenkin’s unsettling Enys Men, follow-up to his cult movie Bait, plays to packed-out houses before nationwide launch

Cinema fans in the Cornish town of Bodmin had three options: the behemoths of Avatar and I Wanna Dance With Somebody – or a mind-bending folk horror shot down the road on 16mm film with a tiny budget that would make most Hollywood directors shudder.

By a considerable margin, for this one night at least, the patrons of the Capitol shunned James Cameron and Whitney Houston in favour of the latter, Enys Men, an unsettling, time-slipping movie that tackles big themes – loneliness, grief, fear – belying the modesty of its production.

The film by Mark Jenkin, the follow-up to his cult arthouse black-and-white movie about fishing and second homes, Bait, has been playing to packed houses during an opening tour of the south-west of England before its UK launch.

“It’s brilliant to see,” said Alex Jones, the operations manager of Merlin Cinemas, which runs the Capitol and other small cinemas mainly in English coastal and market towns. “Interest is off the Richter scale. This is going to be a huge hit not just in Cornwall but across the country. We’re definitely going to have to find more space for it in our cinemas.”

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Image Credit: The Guardian

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