Bait (2018)

A weird, grubbily powerful study of fear and loathing in a Cornish fishing village, which flirts with the language of many genres to arrive at a filmic language of its own. The double-meaning of the title – literal fishing bait and the colloquialism meaning something flagrantly shady – is fitting for the film’s salty, queasy sense of suspicion, outrage and doom.

(Independent writer-director Mark) Jenkin has filmed Bait in black-and-white on a hand-cranked 16mm Bolex, and indeed hand-processed the film stock, possibly in coffee grounds, or contemptuous gobs of spit. It’s a blunt piece of work, whose images are scratchy, flickering, flaring.

Bait ultimately feels as unique as a found object, defying classification. It’s a creeping, original British work that feels pounded into existence by hand, or possibly belched up by the angry sea.

Ian Mantgani, Sight & Sound

  • Orig. title:
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Distribution: The Festival Agency
  • Print source: The Festival Agency
  • Cinematography: Mark Jenkin
  • Editing: Mark Jenkin
  • Music: Thea Gilmore, The Malarkey, Gwenno
  • Sound: Daniel Thompson
  • Production design: Mae Voogd