‘Starting a family can be murder’
When the Screaming Starts is a 2021 British comedy horror film about a journalist who agrees to make a documentary about an aspiring serial killer.
Directed by Conor Boru from a screenplay co-written with Ed Hartland. Co-produced by Conor Boru, Ed Hartland, Dom Lenoir, Jared Rogers and Lucinda Rhodes Thakrar.
The movie stars Ed Hartland, Jared Rogers, Kaitlin Reynell, Octavia Gilmore, Kavé Niku, Ronja Haugholt, Vår Haugholt and Yasen Atour.
When Norman Graysmith is invited into the home of an aspiring serial killer, Aidan Mendle, he believes he has found the subject for the documentary that will transform his failing career. Initially, the production goes well with Aidan freely opening up about his desire to kill, but when his early attempt at committing murder falls apart, things begin to unravel.
Aidan desperately tries to maintain his position as the next Charles Manson by starting a murder cult, interviewing prospective members for what he affectionately calls his ‘family’. The potential candidates provide a rich tapestry of misfits, from the lost and confused to the (most likely) psychopathic. Events begin to spiral out of control and Norman watches his dreams crumbling around him…
” …the first slaughter, when it arrives, is somewhat jarring and authentically nasty; sadly from here on in the movie loses its focus, as if, having set up its shtick, Boru doesn’t really know what to do with it. There are some interestingly satirical observations on power and leadership, and a fine turn from Gilmore as the mean as a snake Amy, but interest quickly faded for me after a promising start.” Bloody Flicks
“Buro plays loose with the mockumentary format, as per every other sitcom after the American version of The Office. But, visually this hits high, shifting from a lighter, comedic look into shadow as the mayhem begins. A confident calling card for all involved, it even pulls off a cheeky “homage” to the Knives Out in its poster design. Highly recommended.” Electric Shadows
” …as with many mock-docs, the biggest monster in the film is the guy trying to get a career boost from tagging along with this mix of foul-up fantasists and genuine psychos […] Rogers manages supreme smarm as the exploitative filmmaker, while Hartland plays a bumbling, clueless loser who can’t even make it as a demented outsider…” The Kim Newman Website
“It becomes a tad muddled in the third act, straying too far into the dark side rather than the What We Do In the Shadows-style lightness. However, like other pending Brit chiller comedy The Parapod, for the most part this is a lot of ‘fun’, even if the subject matter leaves a very uneasy feeling.” On: Yorkshire
“The script by Boru and Ed Hartland is razor-sharp in its observation of the format and the deluded characters that are sometimes the focus of such documentaries […] With too many highlights to pinpoint, it’s a joyous film that you’ll want to re-watch almost immediately in case you miss any little gag (and it’s likely that you will).” Starburst
When the Screaming Starts had its world premiere at 2021 Arrow Video FrightFest on 28th August.