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When The Screaming Starts Main

When the Screaming Starts Movie Review

Written by Joanna K. Neilson

Released by Riotous Films


Directed by Conor Boru
Written by Conor Boru and Ed Hartland
2021, 88 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
Grimmfest Northern Premiere on 9th October 2021

Yasen Atour as Jack
Katharine Bennett-Fox as Julia
Ronja Haugholt as Veronika
Vår Haugholt as Viktoria


What really makes a serial killer? Childhood trauma? Sexual frustration? Born with or without too many chromosomes? Well, this film ditches all of that and has just one definitive answer.


And while it starts to push away from that as events spiral out of control, it’s hard not to conclude that this is still pretty much the answer.

when the screaming starts 01 when the screaming starts 02

Norman Graysmith (Jared Rogers) is the wannabe Louis Theroux who’s already halfway there with his thick pelt of fake hair. He’s following the hapless Aiden (Ed Hartland) who has his heart set on becoming a serial killer, and Aiden’s terrifyingly emotionless girlfriend, Claire, is eager for her bae to start his new hobby so she can photograph more dead things. Cute.

But, as the reality ensues, and plans change, even the best serial killers have to know their limits. And there’s always a bigger wolf waiting for a bite. Now, that made it sound like it becomes a werewolf movie. It doesn’t –⁠ and this isn’t What We Do in the Shadows although it clearly wants to tap that vein. Frankly, it’s nowhere near as good as that gem.

when the screaming starts 03 when the screaming starts 04

The main problem for this kind of idea has always been the concept itself. Without the buffer of the supernatural, the idea of an exploitative film crew following a serial killer and recording his murderous exploits has always seemed... a little daft. Where the hell would they begin to sell the footage before the cops seized it? The dark web, perhaps?

Anyway, in the context of following a frustrated documentary filmmaker trying to make it big, the idea simply doesn’t make sense. It’s dead in the water.

Where the film does come alive is the brilliantly over-the-top introduction of the other very bored borderline personalities, who quickly dominate Aiden’s half-hearted efforts to break bad. And while they certainly liven things up, and spur a scene of pure, much-needed carnage, the focus on Aiden gets pulled away and the ending is a little too rushed.

when the screaming starts 05 when the screaming starts 06

This really might have worked better as a slowly unfolding TV series. The trouble is, it’s hard to care much for these OTT caricatures. One or two are very memorable characters, but they just don’t have enough character to be worth caring for. Which is a huge pity. Instead it tries to have both gory fun and pathos, and doesn’t quite do enough with either angle.

So while it’s possible to have a fun time with this flick, much like its wannabe killer, the story never finds the balls to become something truly notorious. But it might kill your boredom –⁠ for a little while, anyway –⁠ and before any screaming starts.


Movie: 3 Star Rating Cover
Buy Amazon Uk

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