There was a point in time when you couldn’t go on Netflix for tripping over a true crime series or film. Much of the media landscape was the same, from podcasts like Serial to popular culture phenomena such as Tiger King, they dominated the cultural zeitgeist. It’s a wave which saw documentaries getting far more attention in cinemas and on streaming than ever before. Many filmmakers looked to take advantage of this opportunity. In When the Screaming Starts, one takes it a bit too far.
Norman (Jared Rogers) is a man with big ideas, but as his motorhome attests, they rarely get off the ground. This time though he’s confident that his luck is about to change. Every director dreams of being the one to break the story of a serial killer. To get there first and the inside track. As he arrives at the home of Aidan (Ed Hartland) with his crew, he thinks he’s struck big. Not only the chance to document a murder spree, but to capture the perpetrator in the act.
When the Screaming Starts is a fun and inventive mockumentary which plays with the public’s obsession with serial killers. What co-writer and director Conor Boru may lack in budget he makes up for in blood, seat and tears. It’s the kind of concept which could easily go off the rails but he assuredly charts a steady path through to the very end. When the Screaming Starts is a clever horror which balances the tone and horror beautifully.
When the Screaming Starts is out on digital in the UK on 26 September.