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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Conor Boru

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

NATURAL BORN KILLERS meets WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS if written by Garth Marenghi!

If you're sold on that then we can be friends, also you'd highly indulge in the laughfest that is WHEN THE SCREAMING STARTS. Like all good horror comedies, WTSS delivers belly laughs and emotional tearage in a way not seen since Taika Watiti's WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS and like it's TV counterpart, takes the best of British comedy and wraps it up in a film that balances horror and comedy that no other genre hybrid can succeed at.

When Norman Graysmith (Jared Rogers) is invited into the home of an aspiring serial killer, Aidan Mendle (Ed Hartland), he believes he has the subject for the documentary that will make his career. An odd protagonist but a loveably ditsy one at that which rings back to the escapades of TUCKER AND DALE as he starts a cult following on his venture to become a serial killer.

The naivety and blatant lack of realisation for what he wants to be, Aidan is just too adorable not to embrace and as his escapades escalate around him the films final moments become a heart wrenching and symbolic realisation of what it means to be a serial killer.

WTSS is brutal, and there is plenty of death that mean this is not for solely comedy fans but like Ben Wheatley's brilliant SIGHTSEERS, never plays the comedy above anything that would never happen, this is not spoof, this is endearment. Both Rogers and Hartland play it so straight it's a miracle they could even film this without having to pause in laughter. With this in mind, the supporting cast of killers and victims are a fantastic ensemble and each deserve an extra scene for expanding their worlds let alone where Aidan and Norman are which is testament to how great and promising Ed Hartland and Conor Boru are as writing talents.

WHEN THE SCREAMING STARTS is a film for horror fans, comedy fans and everything in between and as a feature debut, Conor Boru should be standing tall for his chance at the throne currently occupied by Edgar Wright of comedy horror.

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