Parents' Guide to

Censor

By Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Very violent, gory British horror film isn't for everyone.

Movie NR 2021 84 minutes
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A movie about "video nasties" is inevitably going to feature its fair share of blood and gore. And boy does Censor deliver on that front. This British horror movie from first-time feature director Prano Bailey-Bond is not for the squeamish. But if you have the stomach for it, then you'll be rewarded with a gripping tale about trauma, obsession, and even a fun -- albeit bloody -- revisit to the low-budget, exploitation horror movies that played out on VHS tapes in the 1980s. Indeed much of movie pays tribute to the "video nasty" genre. There's plenty of over-the-top violence, not just in the films that Enid must watch as part of her job as a film censor, but also in her own life too. Some of the scenes are incredibly gory. But while those films of the '80s often lacked a storyline, here Bailey-Bond has carefully crafted a narrative that when the blood and guts do fly, it never feels gratuitous.

Bailey-Bond is helped enormously by a superb performance from Algar (The Shadow of Violence) as Enid, who is in pretty much every scene. There's a scene where the camera focuses on Enid's face as she watches a movie and though we don't bear witness to the footage, her eyes perfectly capture the horror of what she's seeing, so we don't need to. Censor won't be for everyone and it's certainly not the kind of film for a family night in. But for those who grew up during the "video nasty" era of the 1980s, there's much to be found with this gory revisit to a bygone age.

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