The Censor is a 2021 indie horror film based on a screenplay by Anthony Fletcher and Bailey Bond.
The detective is imbued with the atmosphere of eighties VHS and vintage slashers. The first video screening took place at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film tells the story of Enid Baines, an employee of the British Board of Film Classification. Her duties are to watch slashers from the “video nasty” category and make a decision about their rolling or wrapping. The heroine’s already suffering mental health deteriorates when she mistakenly approves the release of the motion picture that inspired the murder and becomes a victim of the tabloid press.
Film producer Doug Smart conveys to Baines a request from Frederick North, an experienced scary movie director, to allow one of his works to be shown. Viewed awakens in the heroine memories of the disappearance of her younger sister, Nina. A woman begins an investigation, becoming obsessed with the idea of saving Nina from the captivity of the disgusting film industry.
In the finale, we observe how the protagonist ceases to see the line between his paranoid fantasies and reality. The bestial man insists that something vile is sitting inside her, and she must let it out. In the end, Baines breaks down and kills the monster, hoping to save his sister, but as it turns out, Enis is an ordinary actress with no connection to Nina.
From that moment on, everything that happens is just Enid’s fantasy. He and “Nina” run through the forest and finally return home to their relatives. Now they have to live in a wonderful world where films with scenes of violence are prohibited, and the UK is solving the problem of unemployment.
In fact, this story does not have any happy ending, but in reality, the censor kidnapped actress Anise Lee.
The meaning of the film
The events of the film take place in the 80s, a difficult time for the government, filled with crime and unemployment. The film industry is plagued by problems with piracy and the proliferation of violent films. The laws relating to this issue are too flexible and do not cope with their task.
“Censor” addresses the issue of the impact of depraved and sadistic content on the human psyche, and subsequently on the entire public.
Characteristics of heroes
Enid Baines, played by Niv Algar, is a true perfectionist, dedicated to her work. She is cold-blooded when it comes to brutal episodes, and never deviates from her principles. Her dream is to live in a peaceful and prosperous world, where there is no place for cruelty.
The younger sister, Anise Lee, is played by Sophia La Porta. According to her parents, the girl disappeared as a child and has been dead for a long time, but the main character is convinced that she was kidnapped and forced to shoot in malignant works of cinema.
Adrian Schiller as Frederick North, a veteran horror director. The heroine is sure that he is involved in the disappearance of Enis and is trying to harm her.
“Censor” recalls the fate of the famous “A Clockwork Orange”. This film was removed from the rental not by censorship, but by the director himself, when he found out about the maniac imitating Alex. With its general mood, the thriller sends us back to old horror films such as Stephen King’s It or A Nightmare on Elm Street.
“Censor” is not the debut film for Prano Bailey-Bond and in many ways resembles the earlier short film “Nasty” (2015).
A notable detail was that some of the scenes were filmed with footage on Super8 and VHS. The film received positive reviews from film critics.