An aspiring fashion student somehow finds herself transported
nightly to 1960's London, where she witnesses a grisly murder.
Last Night in Soho (2021)
Directed by Edgar Wright
Written by Edgar Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Starring Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith,
Michael Ajao, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp, Synnove Karlsen
Edgar Wright's impeccable track record speaks for itself. The flawless Cornetto Trilogy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the surprise hit Baby Driver have made him a household name. But Last Night in Soho is the first time we've seen his serious side. This is a dark film. Its subject matter is not just murder and hauntings, but how dangerous nostalgia can be. We tend to remember the highlights of the past, not the blood. Sometimes history is caked with blood. But I digress. Last Night in Soho isn't quite what I expected, but it's an enjoyable movie that doesn't tarnish Wright's record.
Eloise (McKenzie) is a shy, soft-spoken girl who worships the 1960's London style and culture. She was just accepted to the London College of Fashion, but she soon learns she's a small fish in a very large, unpredictable pond. She has trouble making friends, and her roommate is a nightmare. She never really gets her due, either, which is strange for a horror film. Eloise moves out of the dorms and into a rented room in Soho, where she starts to experience nightly out of body experiences as a 60's wannabe nightclub singer named Sandie (Taylor-Joy). But Sandie's life is far from glamorous, and the more Eloise learns about her, the farther down the rabbit hole she goes. Did I mention Eloise has a natural gift of second sight? Because that's kinda important.
Like all of Wright's films, Last Night in Soho excels on the technical side. The production design is excellent, the soundtrack is perfect, and the film is flawlessly edited. The performances are great, particularly the late Diana Rigg as Eloise's landlady. My only gripe is that I wish Wright had taken things further. This film has the potential to be really scary, but it's barely horror. It's a small critique, but, I think, a valid one.