Andrea’s Film Review – Censor

Censor ⭐️⭐️Review by Andrea Carnevali

After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality. Now available on Mubi, via Amazon.

After hearing glorious reviews from critics and horror fans alike, I was really looking forward to this one and while I can certainly see the appeal for insiders’ (after all I am a horror aficionado too), I didn’t think the film had enough going for it beyond the clever commentary and references on the subject of the “video nasties” in the 80s.

Welsh writer-director Prano Bailey-Bond is adapting her own short film ‘Nasty’ and certainly knows and understands her subject well. She perfectly captures the mood of the time and what it must have been like working for the British Board of Film Classification at the height “battle for the soul of the nation” as it was described then. (Little did they know that some of those same films would be celebrated decades later as masterpieces).

If you are knowledgeable about your horror, you’re going to appreciate the (not-so-subtle) hints at classic films like “The Evil Dead” or real-life controversies such as the links made between the shocking killing of toddler James Bulger in 1993 and the infamous movie Child’s Play 3 (as it turned out those links were unfounded).

However, while the ‘’context’’ is really interesting, despite a strong central performance by Niamh Algar, the dramatic drive of the actual film soon loses its grip on things: the plot becomes more and more muddled (in fact, next to unintelligible), loose ends are left unexplained and as it all peters out as the film descends into madness and crucially, it stops being scary.

I doubt the average viewer will find it interesting, so it’s a hard one to recommend despite the many good things going for it. But clearly this is a director we should keep an eye on.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.

You can find Censor on Mubi, via Amazon.

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See also: November Books – Reviews by Annakarin Klerfalk

See also: The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Lyric Hammersmith – review

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