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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: When the Screaming Starts (2021)

Film Review: When the Screaming Starts (2021)

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When Norman Graysmith is invited into the home of an aspiring serial killer, Aidan Mendle, he believes he has the subject for the documentary that will make his career.


Panic Fest 2022 Exclusive coverage.

When the Screaming Starts was written by Conor Boru and Ed Hartland, it was directed by Conor Boru.

This would be the second film I’m officially reviewing for Panic Fest 2022. When the Screaming opens with some news coverage, and great music. We meet Norman portrayed by Jared Rogers. Norman is a “two-time award-winning documentary filmmaker.”

Norman found the subject for his next documentary. Aiden (Ed Hartland) apparently has quite the story. Horror-comedy is always great because in real life people say shit, they talk about random stuff. There are never truly any planned-out conversations in life. Aiden is an aspiring serial killer.

Norman is at Aiden’s home, well his dead grandmother’s home. I expected The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm music to start playing after Aiden said he was an “aspiring serial killer.”

Aiden wants to be a serial killer so therefore he’s a horror fan. Aiden reading Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven while wearing a Raven mask almost made me fall off my bed. I can’t take it. The comedy aspect is just too great. Aiden’s routine revolves around him wanting to be an aspiring serial killer. He has a good horror collection. (And, yes, I did pause the screener on my laptop to check out the movies. Don’t judge me. I spy a SCREAM boxset.)

Aiden’s intricate placement for his stuff is funny too because some of us know what that’s like. We have certain places for certain stuff.

Growing up as a horror fan, people were not always as accepting as they are now. There were the people who thought you would become a serial killer if you watched horror movies. There were the people who think they are just devil movies. The people who just the movies are gross or too much. Which, I get it. Everybody likes different stuff.

We meet Aiden’s girlfriend, Claire (Kaitlin Reynell). They have a mutual love of serial killers, Claire has a scrapbook of the dead, and she wants to save room for Aiden’s kills. Claire turns into Dexter Morgan for a second or two. Maybe Aiden should watch DEXTER to figure out how to dress, if he wants to be an aspiring serial killer.

Aiden has a victim in mind, he’s planning, and plotting. Okay, so let’s discuss Horror 101 Safety or whatever you choose to call it, “don’t park next to vans” courtesy of Dr. Helen Hudson portrayed by Sigourney Weaver in Copycat. Stay out of dark alleys, and park in well-lit areas. Always check the backseat of your car.

Ed Hartland and Kaitlin Reynell are hilarious, smart, witty and funny playing these characters. So, Aiden and Claire want to start a family, not just any family, a serial killer family. Charles Manson, Jim Jones??? NOPE, Aiden and Claire are looking for prospects. I can’t get over this movie. Panic Fest 2022 knows what they are doing.

So, now Aiden and Claire have this “family” of people that want to be serial killers. The dark humor, the sarcasm, the cast. I could go on and on, and on about When The Screaming Starts. They poke fun at horror and mysteries. They poke fun at life. So, NOW they are going to go further into this entire, okay, let’s join a family and maybe or maybe not murder people.

After having a bad day, watching this movie made me laugh and cry. I loved everything about When the Screaming Starts. Panic Fest has been amazing. They picked so many incredible films. You have to watch this movie to experience it. It’s a full-on, kick ass experience.

You should check out When the Screaming Starts.

Check out When the Screaming Starts and Panic Fest

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