Liz’s Review: When the Screaming Starts (Panic Fest 2022)

Fangoria! Woo!

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Directed by Conor Boru

Norman (Jared Rogers) is a documentary film maker looking for his big break. He’s ready to cash in on the true crime zeitgeist but the problem with true crime documentaries is that they tell stories that already happened. Looking to get in on the ground floor and make a film that no one has ever seen before his chosen subject is Aiden (Ed Hartland), an aspiring serial killer.

Aidan (Ed Hartland) and Norman (Jared Rogers)

Aiden, along with his macabre photographer girlfriend Claire (Kaitlin Reynell) have been prepping for his first kill. The Victim: Luke, Aiden’s former “Cannibal Death March” bandmate. When the murder is doesn’t go as planned, they decide that maybe they should start a family- no, they’re not having a baby, a family of killers a la Charles Manson (but not racist) with Aiden at the helm.

After a few rounds of interviews, they find their members who include influencer Imogen (Sui-see Hung), creepy twins Veronika and Viktoria (Ronja Haugholt and Vår Haugholt), retiree Donald (John-Christian Bateman), deli owner Jack (Yasen Atour), yogi Masoud (Kavé Niku) and posh but twisted Amy (Octavia Gilmore).

After a bootcamp to make sure everyone is ready for killing they decide that a home invasion where they could massacre and entire family would be the perfect first kill for their family…and Amy knows just the home to invade.

It is at this point that When the Screaming Starts goes from a deadpan comedy to a full blown horror film with a twist that will satisfy the most jaded fan. The pacing of the film is great and the motley crew of characters are all well cast and acted. Most importantly it’s funny- really, really funny! Discovering films like this is the best part of film festivals.

When the Screaming Starts will be showing at Panic Fest exclusively during the virtual program. Check out the festival site for schedules and to get your pass!

Listen to our Podcast Extra Interview with director Connor Boru and stars Jared Rogers and Ed Hartland!

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