Had a choice of this or Candyman over the weekend and decided on this unusual looking film. I was very happy with my choice. Not for those with a squeamish disposition, even the opening montage has several quick flicks of some of the more ludicrous and gory scenes from the dreaded "video nasties" just to set the mood. This mood is maintained wonderfully with excellent set design, foreboding soundtrack and well chosen colour palettes.
Niamh Algar is the lead in this and is an excellent choice. So much of the movie contains close ups and front facing shots so that her striking look is used to compliment her acting ability. This is also the feature debut of the director Prano Bailey-Bond and if this anything to judge by I expect big things from her. Disney/Marvel will probably jump on her to direct some nonsense soon. Also see how many cast members you can recognise from various British TV series. Shout out to Lynn from Alan Partridge.
I wish I liked it more than I did. Niamh Algar is terrific, and some of the cinematography and editing (especially editing) is strong. The way the whole thing feels like an eerie, intensifying nightmare certainly has its appeal.
But I didn’t feel it made it past the surface level of its premise, just sort of plodding towards its inevitable descent into violence. I’ve seen a few films - Peter Strickland’s jump out - that do a similar ‘British retro horror kitsch’ thing, but unfortunately I’ve also seen some that do it better than this. Censor just came across as a bit flat to me, despite having no shortage of obvious talent in front of and behind the camera.
I did think the ending was a bit of a cop out, almost like they couldn't think of an satisfactory conclusion so we'll do a David Lynch "was it a dream" kind of thing. But overall I really enjoyed it and was impressed with it when it was most likely made for pennies. It's funny you mentioned Strickland because I thought it was very similar to "Berberian Sound Studio" within the first few minutes. I went into this film blind so I hadn't a clue what it was about.