Movie Review: Censor

June 9, 2021

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Director/cowriter Prano Bailey-Bond expands on the video nasties theme she explored in her terrific 2015 short film Nasty with her feature-length debut Censor (U.K., 2021). This gripping psychological horror film rises high above mere pastiche to present a dark tale that recalls and reflects the luridness of some of the movies that made headlines in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s for being criticized for their violent content. 
Enid (Niamh Algar) works on a board of censors who approve or deny films for their content, so she must watch many horror films and approve or deny their often grisly and disturbing content. She becomes a target of hatred when someone commits a murder seemingly based on a killing in a film she approved, and matters get worse when film producer Frederick North (Adrian Schiller) brings her his latest film, which seems chillingly similar to the real-life disappearance of her sister. 
North’s film sets Enid on an obsessive quest to find out if there is truly a connection between her sister’s long-ago disappearance and the horror movie. Enid’s parents have made peace with the fact that the sister is probably dead, but Enid won’t give up hope that she is still alive. This fixation leads her down a dark path made even darker by copious amounts of blood.
Algar gives a stirring performance as Enid, and her character is given much to work with thanks to a taut screenplay by Bailey-Bond and cowriter Anthony Fletcher.  The supporting players are all solid, with Schiller outstanding as he turns in a fine job of playing smarmy and sleazy.
Bailey-Bond has crafted a character study that may follow a few familiar fright-fare beats, but any quibbles are made up for with a gorgeously gruesome throwback aesthetic and an unwavering goal on delivering a riveting psychological shocker.    
Magnet Releasing will release Censor in theaters on June 11th, 2021 and On Demand on June 18th, 2021.

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