The story behind the best British horror film in years

Video nasties and censorship are tackled head on in the sinister Sundance hit. Jacob Stolworthy speaks to its star Niamh Algar and director-co-writer Prano Bailey-Bond about the process from inception to fruition

Sundance Film Festival’s Midnight section has long been the holy grail for any burgeoning horror director. It’s where The Blair Witch Project (1999) kick-started the found-footage phenomenon; where Saw (2004) launched one of the most successful franchises in history; and, more recently, where It Follows (2014) and Hereditary (2018) were first unleashed, reinvigorating modern horror. Censor, which received its world premiere at this year’s virtual Sundance on Saturday (30 January), is a worthy addition to that list. In fact, it is one of the best horror films in years.

Directed by Prano Bailey-Bond, Censor tells the story of Enid (Niamh Algar), a young woman who makes a living tucked away in dingy screening rooms, watching depraved and gory films. In her notepad, she scribbles down the timings of the cuts she thinks need to be made before they’re viewed by the public.

For Enid, this fastidiousness doesn’t stem from a love of film but a sense of duty. During a tense dinner with her parents, she rebukes her father for suggesting otherwise. “It’s not entertainment,” she snaps. ”I do it to protect people.”

Like any psychological film worth its salt, nothing’s as it seems. The arrival of video nasty supremo Frederick North’s new film (creepily titled Don’t Go in the Church) sends Enid spiralling. Before long, she’s on a mission to find a sister who went missing years before. It’s here where the film kicks into gear leading to one of the most memorable climaxes for quite some time.

The idea of the film germinated “ages ago”, says Bailey-Bond, after she read an article on Hammer Horror, the London-based company known for its gothic films featuring the characters of Dracula, Frankenstein and more. Continue reading

TRAILER: Nicola Walker new drama “The Split”

Even in America, it’s difficult to flip a few channels on the remote and not see Nicola Walker these days. PBS is currently rerunning the final season Last Tango in Halifax, while Masterpiece is featuring new episodes of Ms. Walker’s excellent police drama Unforgotten (Season 2). Netflix still offers the remarkable River, as well as Collateral – each with outstanding supporting performances from this actressLater this month, the Sundance Channel  is set to begin “the Split” with Ms. Walker in a starring role as a divorce lawyer. That begins May 23rd, mark you calendar.
– Johnny Foreigner

Stephen Mangan, Meera Syal, Anthony Head and Stephen Tompkinson also star in Abi Morgan’s new drama about a family of lawyers

It’s set to be one of this spring’s most talked about dramas, and now we’ve finally got a first look at BBC1 series The Split.

The all-star cast is led by Nicola Walker, Stephen Mangan, Meera Syal, Stephen Tompkinson and Anthony Head.

Source: The Split BBC1 TRAILER: Nicola Walker, Stephen Mangan, Anthony Head star in new Abi Morgan drama – Radio Times

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