When the Screaming Starts is a comedy-horror mockumentary that received its premiere recently at FrightFest. It is billed as being for fans of What We Do In The Shadows and The Office, but I’m sorry to say that it is nowhere near as clever or as funny as either of those.
Norman Graysmith (Jared Rogers) is a documentary filmmaker who is yet to find any kind of success with his work. But when he is invited into the home of aspiring serial killer Aidan Mendle (Ed Hartland), he believes his luck is about to change. Spurred on by girlfriend Claire (Kaitlin Reynell), who also has dark desires of her own, Aidan aims to be the next Charles Manson and plans to start his own murder cult. Norman plans to stick with Aidan and document the whole process.
X-Factor style auditions are held for those wishing to join this new cult, or family as Aidan calls it. Along with the audition process, each hopeful is interviewed by the documentary crew in order to learn more about them. Some are clearly psychotic and one, a non-English speaker, believes he is attending a Yoga class.
With the family members decided, and premises arranged for them to call a base, training begins and plans get underway for the murders to start. But it soon becomes clear that Aidan doesn’t have what it takes to become a serial killer or a leader and his dream begins to crumble around him.
So, I would say that your expected enjoyment level when it comes to When the Screaming Starts can be gauged by watching the trailer. When I watched it, I didn’t laugh at all and I just felt that the performances and the concept looked terrible. Sure enough, those initial thoughts applied to the final movie and the humour just didn’t land for me at all. I grew tired of Norman and his Louis-Theroux-like glances being made at the camera, along with the weak script and dodgy performances. I was constantly checking the time and I honestly haven’t willed a movie to end so quickly as I have with this one.
To be fair, towards the end it did improve somewhat as it explores just how far someone will go to achieve their ambitions and make a name for themselves. However, it was too little too late and this turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
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Web developer by day, with a movie and TV watchlist that continues to grow as much as my spare time reduces! My favourite movie is Inception and, despite what everyone says, I do not have a man-crush on Tom Cruise.