Liz’s Review: Censor (Panic Fest 2021)

ATMOSfx! Woo!

★★★ out of ★★★★★
Directed by Prano Bailey-Bond

Enid (Niamh Algar) is a film censor in London who’s job it is to sit through hours and hours of uncut horror films to trim the nastiest bits out. Aside from her job, Enid leads a drab existence and is haunted by her inability to remember specifically what happened years ago on a fateful day in the woods that lead to the disappearance of her sister, Nina. Enid is convinced she’s still alive even when their parents have signed a death certificate looking for closure after so many years.

Back in the office, the latest film from director Frederick North called “Don’t Go in the Church” is assigned to Enid to screen and as she’s watching it she is struck by the the lead actress, Alice Lee’s (Sophia LaPorta), resemblance to her sister, or what she imagines a grown Nina would look like now, and the feeling that this film holds to key to what happened to them in real life.

What follows is Enid’s quest to track down everyone involved in the making of the film culminating on the director’s latest set…in a cabin…in the woods.

This film is a bit of a slow burn with a vibe that puts it right at home with films like Kill List, Hereditary, The Witch and (in the final act) Mandy– all my kinda films. It is shot in varying aspect ratios and color palettes that added a very cool and 80’s vibe, but all in all it never quite closed the loop for me. I had a great time watching it but really I was hoping that this film about video nasties would have more nasty!

Censor is currently showing in theaters and will be coming to VOD platforms June 18th.

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