CENSOR is a Horror-Thriller from the UK that should resonate with most horror fans. It’s part dark humor with its approach to censorship and how much horror movies can be blamed for. Also, it features lots of slasher scenes. Read our full Censor movie review here!
CENSOR is a UK production of the best kind. Lots of stiff upper lip and back-handed passive-aggressive dialogue that’s easily deciphered. We’re dealing with a horror-thriller that plays out in Margaret Thatcher’s UK in the 1980s. Everything was pretty dismal and, obviously, horror movies were to blame for everything from crime to drug use.
In the usual British style, this story is told with both dark humor and some grotesque visuals. Oh yes, there are plenty of slasher scenes that I’m sure most of the film’s characters would never accept. They work with censoring movies – which often leads to them simply being refused entirely and ending up on the black market instead.
Continue reading our Censor movie review below.
Surely, horror fans must be deranged people?!
The fact that Censor focuses so much on how much is blamed on horror movies – just as it has been blamed on rock music or video games – is always an interesting approach. In that sense, especially, horror fans should adore Censor.
It’s so full of all the things we still hear from people who just don’t “get horror”. Because they don’t like the genre, they cannot accept or respect the fact that other people might enjoy horror movies. Surely, there must be something wrong with us?!
Well, in the case of Censor there might be some truth to that. However, it doesn’t have anything to do with the movies. One element of the plot directly highlights how quick and easy it is to blame horror movies. Strangely, it never draws headlines when it turns out horror movies probably didn’t have any blame after all.
Niamh Algar is amazing
The absolute star of Censor is Niamh Algar who works as the censor, Enid Baines, who watches the most violent and depraved movies day in and day out. She (and her colleagues) are the last line of defense between the crazy horror filmmakers and the souls of the British people.
Enid Baines has no problem watching these movies. She’s the kind of horror fan who would complain that she never gets scared. However, the movies do awaken something in her. One movie, in particular, seems to do the trick. And that’s all I’ll say about that!
You might recognize Niamh Algar if you’ve watched Ridley Scott’s HBO Max series Raised by Wolves. In Censor, her portrayal of Enid reminded me of the title character in Saint Maud at times. That’s a huge compliment and I, admittedly, cannot wait to see Niamh Algar in a genre production again.
Watch Censor in theater or On-Demand
Censor is written (with Anthony Fletcher) and directed by Prano Bailey-Bond and this is her feature film debut. In so many ways, I was blown away by this movie and the runtime of 84 minutes is another bonus. It’s tight and intense while also working a lot with symbolism as the main character is slowly falling apart. Again, this makes the comparison to Saint Maud easy.
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Incidentally, both Censor and Saint Maud are directed and (at least in part) written by female filmmakers. Saint Maud was made by Rose Glass. There is just something about women writing these female characters as they struggle to break free and/or out that works a lot better. There’s a brutality that I don’t think many men would dare – or succeed at.
Also, both movies are feature film debuts made after a few short films. I cannot wait to see what both come out with next but after Censor, I really hope Prano Bailey-Bond will continue working within the horror genre.
CENSOR is out in limited theaters from June 11, 2021, and will then be released on VOD on June 18, 2021.
Director: Prano Bailey-Bond
Writers: Prano Bailey-Bond, Anthony Fletcher
Stars: Niamh Algar, Michael Smiley, Nicholas Burns, Sophia La Porta, Vincent Franklin, Adrian Schiller, Guillaume Delaunay, Clare Holman, Andrew Havill, Felicity Montagu
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.