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Lights. Camera. Murder!

SCREAMBOX continues to slay with Cinedigm announcing today they have acquired all North American rights to the horror mockumentary When the Screaming Starts, about a journalist who tracks a newly formed murder cult founded by a bumbling wannabe serial killer.

When the Screaming Starts will release exclusively on the Bloody Disgusting-powered horror platform SCREAMBOX on September 20, followed by a wider digital release later this fall.

The news was first reported by Deadline.

Directed by Conor Boru, When the Screaming Starts follows struggling journalist turned filmmaker Norman, who finds himself face to face with aspiring serial killer Aidan Mendle. When Norman is invited to follow Aidan on his journey, he thinks he’s finally landed his big break. But as Aidan and his newly recruited murder cult embark on a blood-soaked rampage, Norman’s dream of becoming a renowned documentary filmmaker turns into a nightmare.

Here’s the trailer!

When the Screaming Starts was co-written by Boru and lead actor Ed Hartland, who previously collaborated on several shorts. The film stars Hartland as Aidan, the not-so-charismatic leader of the family; Jared Rogers as ambitious filmmaker Norman; Kaitlyn Reynell as Aidan’s girlfriend and literal partner in crime, Claire; and Octavia Gilmore as Amy, one of the family’s first and finest recruits.

Premiering at FrightFest, the horror-comedy has been featured at acclaimed horror festivals around the world including Popcorn Frights, Panic Fest, Telluride Horror Show, and Grimmfest. The film also was named Best Sci-fi/Horror Feature at the 2022 London Independent Film Festival.

The film is currently sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Dread Central exclaiming, “When the Screaming Starts is a laugh-out-loud funny dark comedy, and the film breathes a lot of life back into the mockumentary subgenre.”

Screen Zealots declared it “a clever, distressing serial killer mockumentary that offers a piercing commentary on the world we live in,” further adding that “it’s also bloody hilarious.”

“Taking the fandom of true crime and turning it into a Charles Manson-inspired comedy sounds risky, but writer/director Conor Boru finds an interesting mix of dark humor, gore, and social commentary to make When the Screaming Starts enjoyable,” writes Nightmarish Conjurings.

Scariest Things hypes, “When the Screaming Starts goes from a deadpan comedy to a full-blown horror film with a twist that will satisfy the most jaded fan,” while Flickering Myth adds: “Delivering fully on the potential of its premise, this witty, stylistically sharp mock-doc marks the arrival of a talented filmmaking voice in Conor Boru.”

The film was produced by Boru, Hartland, and Rogers along with Dom Lenoir. Executive Producers include Gilmore, Yasen Atour, and Kavé Niku.

“Of all the genres that meld with horror, none is more seamless than comedy,” said Bloody Disgusting Managing Director Brad Miska. “Horror and comedy are like two sides of the same coin, which is why fans of both have embraced this sub-genre so readily. When the Screaming Starts is the perfect combination of humor and horror. It’s Shawn of the Dead meets Spinal Tap, and we know that fans are going to eat it up.”

“I am so proud to be a part of this film,” added Mark Padilla, SVP Sales and Acquisitions at Double Dutch International. “With the popularity of true crime docs and podcasts, When the Screaming Starts perfectly fits the audience’s appetite. It’s a wild ride from start to finish. The filmmakers and the entire cast did a fantastic job.”

The deal was negotiated by Padilla and Brandon Hill, Acquisitions Manager, on behalf of Cinedigm.


Halloween is coming! When the Screaming Starts joins the already massive SCREAMBOX Originals/Exclusives slate that includes Terrifier 2, Deep Fear, All Jacked Up and Full of Worms, Story Game, Welcome to Hell, PussyCake, Pennywise: The Story of IT, Suicide Forest Village, History of the Occult, and the uncut edition of Satan’s Little Helper!

SCREAMBOX subscriptions include unlimited movies and shows, with no ads: Month-to-month pricing is $4.99, while you can get discounted rates at 3 months ($11.99) or one year ($39.99).

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