First films by promising new British talent are often overpraised, when what they really need is our lasting support
Prano Bailey-Bond’s debut feature, Censor, came out in the UK last Friday on the back of a huge publicity push and wave of critical acclaim, from five star reviews and magazine covers to tweets from directors such as Edgar Wright and Sean Baker (the latter sporting a Prano Bailey-Bond T-shirt). Set at the height of the 1980s “video nasties” moral panic, the film adopts and adapts the genre of gory horror it depicts, by focusing on a character still grieving for her long-lost sister.
The plaudits for the film have so far failed to translate into significant box office receipts, however – aligning the film with other recent acclaimed British debuts such as Ben Sharrock’s Limbo and Aleem Khan’s After Love. Rose Glass’s Saint Maud, a debut supported by the BFI Film Fund, arguably crossed over to the wider public, but it seems clear that hype doesn’t always turn into lasting success.