The video nasty craze is an event that still affects parts of the world today. Teams of intellectuals gathered together to determine what cuts need to be made to a film in order for it to be released to the public with a proper rating. When violence exploded in the media, horror films and rock music were the initial targets.
'Censor' takes place in the world of the, well, censors. Enid feels it's her personal responsibility to make distributed horror films safe, and she takes her job optimally serious. One day, she comes across a particular video nasty that triggers something inside her.
We learn early on that Enid had a younger sister who vanished in the woods when she was just about 7. The film she needs to review, titled 'Dont Go In the Church', shows two young girls enter a cabin in the middle of the woods, and we assume that her fragmented memory shows her something similar. What unfolds is a Technicolor bloodbath of violence and madness as she tries to track down the director and the lead actress who she strongly believes is her missing sister.
The movie itself is gorgeous with strong, vibrant colors that shine in the pitch black Forest. Enid's motives are believable and we feel for her. The video nasties she's forced to watch all look legitimate which is another excellent mark for the creator. And the ending turns into an almost Lynchian fever dream where you can pretty much guess what's happening even though it certainly doesn't show you much.
This film blew up in the festival world, and it's truly a remarkable experience. One part history lesson and one part psychedelic nightmare, there's lots to enjoy here. It's the director's debut feature and I can only anticipate their next efforts.
'Censor' is currently streaming on Hulu.
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra