Monday, June 14, 2021

Censor Review: A Fresh, Classic Feeling Horror Film

Niamh Algar	...	Enid Baines Michael Smiley	Michael Smiley	...	Doug Smart Nicholas Burns	Nicholas Burns	...	Sanderson Vincent Franklin	Vincent Franklin	...	Fraser Sophia La Porta	Sophia La Porta	...	Alice Lee Adrian Schiller	Adrian Schiller	...	Frederick North Clare Holman	Clare Holman	...	June Andrew Havill	Andrew Havill	...	George Felicity Montagu	Felicity Montagu	...	Valerie Danny Lee Wynter	Danny Lee Wynter	...	Perkins Clare Perkins	Clare Perkins	...	Anne Guillaume Delaunay	Guillaume Delaunay	...	Beastman Richard Glover	Richard Glover	...	Gerald Erin Shanagher	Erin Shanagher	...	Debbie Beau Gadsdon	Beau Gadsdon	...	Young Enid Amelie Child Villiers	Amelie Child Villiers	...	Nina (as Amelie Child-Villiers) Matthew Earley	Matthew Earley	...	Gordon

Release date: June 11, 2021 (Theaters), June 18, 2021 (Digital)
Running time: 84 minutes
Directed By: Prano Bailey-Bond
Starring: Niamh Algar, Michael Smiley, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller

Film censor Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled decapitations and eye-gougings she pores over. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. When Enid is assigned to review a disturbing film from the archive that echoes her hazy childhood memories, she begins to unravel how this eerie work might be tied to her past.

Ric Renton	...	Frank (as Richard Renton) Bo Bragason	Bo Bragason	...	Older Girl in Film Amelia Craighill	Amelia Craighill	...	Younger Girl in Film Madeleine Hutchins	Madeleine Hutchins	...	Panicked Woman Robert Vernon	Robert Vernon	...	Tom Lucy Mizen	Lucy Mizen	...	Neighbour on TV Joanne Gale	Joanne Gale	...	Woman in Video Nasty Clare Noy	Clare Noy	...	Waitress Louise Hadley	Louise Hadley	...	Red Haired Woman Lisa Ronaghan	Lisa Ronaghan	...	Girl on Night Out Francesca Reid	Francesca Reid	...	Girl on Night Out (as Francesca Renée Reid) Albie Marber	Albie Marber	...	Boy in Title Sequence Chris Dale	Chris Dale	...	Alf the Projectionist
Censor tells a very unconventional horror story with a wonderful classic style.  The movie follows a censor in the 80s who is watching old British horror films, and the film has an authentic time appropriate feel.  The characters and attitudes all feel like they are right out of this time period and the movies that are analyzed are also from this time.  The old horror films do a great job of setting the time period and the movie picks some of the most violent, objectionable parts to be showcased.  All of this makes Censor feel right at home; the classic movies really add to the overall feel of the movie.

Censor is a very different type of horror film.  The movie is all build up and atmosphere, with less dread and blood (outside of the classic movie clips) than you would expect from a horror film.  Enid has a complicated past and Censor slowly introduces some ideas from her past.  But these clips are just snippets or foggy memories and don't give you a full picture of what happened.  And these clips from her past help to heighten the dread without going over the top.  Even when the film goes into a more traditional horror vibe, the movie stays more on the psychological side.  Censor is a slow and unsettling movie, a horror story that feels very different form anything else right now. 

And that is what makes Censor such a great film.  It has a fresh, yet classic feel and story, with great set design and some fantastic acting.  Niamh Algar as Enid is simply wonderful as the confident and mostly mild mannered censor.  I loved her strong character and the fact that she was meticulous and unphased by some of the most objectionable content of the time.  And although the film is mostly serious, there are a few great moments that lighten the mood.  If there is a negative with this film it is that the movie does go off the rails towards the end.  But then it concludes with a satisfying ending that fits the tone of the film.

Censor is a refreshingly different horror experience, with an emphasis on storytelling, tension, and build up and a fresh, yet classic feel.

Watch it.

horror 80s classic horror gore censor censorship
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Censor is available digitally and on demand on June 11, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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