For decades, people have been debating whether or not violent video games and movies influence crime rates. The release in the UK of gory low-budget horror and exploitation films throughout the 1980s corresponded with an uptick in crime rates. This ignited a nationwide debate over censorship, leading to a media frenzy.
Violent movies were criticized by media outlets, religious organizations, critics, and campaigners for rising crime and other signs of social degradation. Films that were deemed harmful to children were targeted for rating and prohibition.
Advocacy organization National Viewer and Listener's Association (NVLA) called these videos “video nasties” because of their proliferation, leading to headlines like “How High Street Horror Is Invading the Home” and “Sadism for Six-Year-Olds,” among many other titles.
Enid Baines (Niamh Algar) is a film censor who gets progressively troubled as she tells herself that her missing sister, Nina, is the star of these splatter flicks, Alice Lee (Prano Bailey-debut Bond's feature film) (Sophia La Porta).
Enid shows up on the set to “rescue” Alice, killing anybody who stands in her way, and the film ends. Because of the faults in her fantasy, Enid feels she has atoned for her transgressions by rescuing Nina and returning her to their parents. The ethereal, picture-perfect conclusion and the rainbow sky aren't what they appear.
Violence in the Media vs. Violence in Real Life
The film “Censor,” as its title indicates, makes many allusions to the days of video nastiness. They tried to blame the movie for the spike in violent crimes by lawmakers, the press, and citizens alike. In the opening montage, violent snippets from several video nasties are shown as announcers link criminal activities to this niche medium.
“If violent pictures are designed to encourage people to commit violent crimes,” Bailey-Bond asked in an interview with Cineuropa. “What guardians are there to prevent the censor from losing control?” she asked.
Enid is obsessive about “protecting” the public by watching horrible videos for long periods. Eventually, though, as her adoration for Alice deepens, she loses focus and becomes into the exact thing that she fears.
A movie about the betrayal of sisters hits a nerve with Enid. The memories of her sister's alleged death resurface throughout this viewing. What caused this erratic censor to lose its composure?
Combined with the visual similarities between Alice and Nina's police sketch, her need for closure propels her to take action.
At the film's conclusion, a radio announcer in Enid's dream announces the abolition of video nasties, resulting in a zero-crime rate and an increase in employment. Informing the public that “there's nothing to be scared of anymore!” is met with pleasure by the general public. Enid, who has succumbed to the erroneous worries of the conservatives, cannot see that she has committed an offense.
However, even though the film does not reveal this, it is apparent that the public would continue to blame her intake of morally tainted films for her actions without considering her mental illness.
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Haunted by the Vague Recollections She Has
The climax of Enid's remorse for being the last person to see her sister alive is her violent collapse. She cannot come to terms with Nina's absence and obsessively searches for answers.
Her memories of that day in the forest are frequently mixed up with the movies she sees for work. Her parents ask her to tell them what happened while she turns away and tears in her nightmares and flashbacks.
Unable to help, Enid tries to find closure by clinging to the little possibilities. Her desperate attempt to persuade her parents that Nina is still alive annoys them. Her father chastises her, saying, “Enid, we've been here before. “It's not her every time,” he said.
It appears she has previously come up with crazy ideas. Mother: “Enid, you can't be responsible for everyone,” she tells her at one point in the film. It's not the first time she's attempted to free herself of responsibility, but this time, it ends fatally.
While Enid's on-set killing spree and the kidnapping of Alice reveal her worsening mental condition, she is desperate to correct things with her family at any cost in the finale.
Did Enid Suffocate Nina to Death?
“Censor” raises the possibility that Enid was responsible for Nina's disappearance. It's also plausible that Enid's mental break isn't only due to her inability to accept the loss of her sister. While her parents implore her to tell them what happened, she has a nightmare where her mother yells, “It's all your fault!” during a tremendous jump fright.
Nina's brilliant red hair is also featured in Enid's dream, with a message saying “Don't Go in the Church,” referencing the disliked video in which an older sister murders her younger sibling in the forest. Possibly what happened that day was an accident, which would explain her adherence to censorship.
Enid's actions may be represented by the Amnesia Killer, a guy who is said to have taken his inspiration from a movie. Her inability to recollect the events that occurred to Nina may result from trauma, like that of the killer. As a result of seeing “Don't Go in the Church,” Enid's ordinarily calm demeanor begins to falter.
When she finds out how the Amnesia Killer could “forget” that he had murdered his family, she confronts her coworker about it. According to a coworker, “people build tales to cope.” It's incredible what the human brain can filter out when overwhelmed with the reality of a situation.
Perhaps Enid is to blame more for Nina's death than anybody realizes because of lines like “The evil is contagious,” which follows Enid throughout the film. No one else knows what's happening except for Enid, who turns out to be less trustworthy as the story progresses.