DIRECTOR: PRANO BAILEY-BOND
CAST: NIAMH ALGAR; MICHAEL SMILEY
CERT 15; 84 MINUTES
RELEASE DATE 20 AUGUST 2021
REVIEW by SUSAN GRAY
Sundance Film Festival’s horror slot is a coveted one, having launched The Blair Witch Project, 1999 and Saw, 2004 to a fright loving audience. This year’s offerings launched the restrained Brit flick Censor, (across cinemas August 2021) directed by Prano Bailey - Bond, and with horror guru Kim Newman on the team.
Censor, starring Niamh Algar, who gives a pitch perfect performance as Enid a goodie two shoes going rogue, Censor recreates the moral panic around video nasties in 1980s Britain. The film’s evocation of the 1980s, Enid wears some truly terrible polyester blouses, and the low budget horror movie industry, is convincing. ‘It’s Rat Brothel all over again’, says one of Enid’s more lax colleagues at the Board of Film Classification, when she insists by playing by the rules over what scenes must be cut from a video nasty. However Enid’s poise unravels quicker than a coiled wire in a disaster movie, when she views an exploitation film that echoes her own mental images of the disappearance of her sister when they were young. Her pursuit of the video’s director and familiar looking female lead Alice Lee, confirms director John Carpenter’s adage, that the monsters in horror movies ‘are all within us’.