Film censor Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled decapitations and eye gougings she pores over. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. When Enid is assigned to review a disturbing film from the archive that echoes her hazy childhood memories, she begins to unravel how this eerie work might be tied to her past.
Censor is a faithful, creative ode to 1980s aesthetics and a twisted, bloody love letter to the video nasties of the era. In her assured feature debut, director Prano Bailey-Bond re-creates a moment in which society was on the brink of mass hysteria over the dangers of viewers being seduced by violent images—and then she cleverly immerses us in the haunted Enid’s shifting reality. Actress Niamh Algar stuns as her brittle character grows increasingly possessed by her quest.