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Review Censor (2021): Had real potential to make impact but ultimately fails to do so!

genre: horror, mystery

Censor is about a woman who works for the British Board of Film Classification during the height of Video Nasty controversy. Video Nasties were usually low-budget horror productions and exploitation films. Apparently many people criticized and were offended by the violence and gore depicted in these films. 

Enid, our main character, is a little strict because she wants to protect people. As much as I want to believe the good intentions one has to really ask what people need to be protected from? Are there crazy people who sometimes get influenced by what they have seen in films? That's a hard question to answer since most of the time these people often are so mentally ill they would get influenced by a lot of things including films. There still has not been any evidence that proves people are directly motivated by having seen films that lead to criminal and evil deeds. Normal people are very capable of seeing films for what they are, harmless entertainment.  In any case Enid does seem to have reasons why she is so adamant in protecting people. And to be fair it's very understanding. But soon you find out that not all is what it seems as things spiral out of control. 

I dug the film for the most part. But not how it ended. It's one of those pretentious ones where they think they are being very clever but actually have opted for the easiest solution. Sure the cinematography and the style (which is very gialloesque) back up that pretension somewhat. And I went along with it hoping the story and mystery elements would improve. I mean there is so much buildup to something dark and sinister tension wise. You almost can feel something spectacular is going to happen and then it ends up in one big cliché. Unless you rarely watch horror films that is. Perhaps then you would be surprised although even in many conventional films they have introduced the same psychological elements so by now every film viewer should be caught up. Then again non horror fans aren't interested in this film. And if they were they want the good old stuff. Like for example to get scared or at least creeped out. Censor was close but ultimately failed to have real impact.

Like always most prolific film critics loved this film. They always do when films are about making films. Naturally it was compelling to a degree. I mean what kind of people would want to censor films for a living? I get that young kids need to be protected from certain content. So I agree with the rating system. But to actually cut content that may be a defining part in someone's work? Preposterous! However it didn't go deep enough concerning the other characters. Are they film lovers? Do they feel an obligation to save the films and preserving their message in ways the filmmakers can live with? At points it did seem like that. It would have been nice to get some more insight into these people instead of focusing on Enid alone. Because that is the part the film critics are mostly raving about.

Overall I was a little disappointed in how events played out and how little insight we got into the world of censorship. I was hoping for so much more and it basically fizzles out without giving real food for thought. 


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