You know when people tell you to leave your work at work and not to bring your troubles at home to work? That all goes out the window in Prano Bailey-Bond's Censor, a horror film that blurs the line quite magnificently between the real world and fiction. In doing so, it has to go down as one of the best British horror films in quite some time.

After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid (Niamh Algar), a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister's disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.

Censor is a film shrouded in mystery straight from the outset, Bailey-Bond along with Anthony Fletcher writing a screenplay that impressively builds a wicked sense of ambiguity throughout as Enid battles with an internal struggle. The surfacing of a traumatic event involving her sister's disappearance crossing into her work as a film censor brings about a downward spiral of events that slowly engulf Enid's life in danger.

There's a real sense of passion coming through every ounce of this film, the production design meticulous in creating the vibe and certain dourness of Britain in the 1980s. Annika Summerson's immaculate cinematography works wonders in bringing Bailey-Bond's vision to life, darkness and light used in equal measure to create a delicate balancing act between reality and fiction. The film also possesses a rather suitably haunting score from Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch. 

Leading the film is Niamh Algar, who delivers one of the most captivating performances of the year, important as she has a lot of screentime in the film but manages to hold the attention of the audience throughout. Algar does a fantastic job in portraying such a range of emotions as the mystery starts to ramp up. Michael Smiley makes for a skin-crawling and sleazy film producer who Enid comes up against in the search for the truth about her sister's disappearance, his looks toward her and his words making you want Enid to get as far away from him as possible.

Censor is undoubtedly one of the year's best films that provides its audience with a tense and unnerving atmosphere, Bailey-Bond and Algar teaming up to become a force to be reckoned with. Watching this at Sundance London was quite the experience so I would definitely recommend seeking this out at your nearest cinema, if available, because you won't regret it.

Verdict: ½


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