LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Review

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People who know me will know that I am quite sceptical when it comes to film trailers. Often I try to avoid them as much as possible because my theory on modern day trailers is that they often giveaway twists and turns that take away part of cinema magic when I am experiencing a film for the first time. That being said though I am glad that I watched the trailer for Last Night In Soho because this trailer did what a trailer is supposed to do – it gave nothing away and instead made me so desperate to see the film that it had me counting down the days until I could.

From the mastermind that is Edgar Wright (The World’s End), I reserve the right to use the term mastermind to describe Mr. Wright as he delivered one of the best films ever made in Baby Driver, Last Night In Soho is a coming-of-age story with a difference.

Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie – JoJo Rabbit) is a young woman obsessed by 1960s Soho. She dreams of what it would have been like to take to the stage at a time when Soho was the ‘wrong end’ of London and it is her passion for it that has led to her life-long dream of becoming a fashion designer who brings back the magic of the 1960s.

When Eloise is accepted into a prestigious fashion school in London she ignores the veiled warnings of her Grandmother about the fact that it was London that killed her mother and packs up her bags (and more importantly her vinyl collection) and makes the move from the countryside to London itself.

Eloise now finds herself surrounded by her beloved Soho but things don’t get off to the dreamy start that she hoped for. First of all she finds out that she doesn’t fit in with her other classmates nor her roommate, the popularity obsessed Jocosta (Synnove Karlsen – Clique), and then finds herself haunted by visions after moving into the upstairs room of a house owned by the caring Ms Collins (Diana Rigg – Game Of Thrones) who herself lived through the 60s Soho.

Her visions begin with promise as they show her the arrival of a young performer named Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy – The Witch) who arrived in Soho in the 1960s with a dream of becoming a star. At first Eloise uses the visions to create her original fashion style but soon they become horrific as she sees more and more of the world that Sandie’s ‘manager’ Jack (Matt Smith – Doctor Who) introduced her to. Soon the visions clash with Eloise’s real world in such a way that even her best friend, John (Michael Ajao – Attack The Block), is unsure what is happening to her.

There is no other way that I can say this other than Last Night In Soho is a visionary masterpiece. The film was everything that I wanted and dreamed it would be and more. It takes the quirkiness that I loved with Baby Driver and mixes it with the extreme supernatural thrills that are normally reserved for the films of the King of the Supernatural himself – Stephen King.

Wright’s directional style here actually surpasses what I thought he was capable of doing. His mix of coming-of-age, period piece cinema and horror is nothing short of sensational and on reflection this is the film that The Woman In Black should have been. Wright alongside his cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung (It) has created a film that is both filled with visions of beauty and horrific crimes in a way that left me gasping like I was the one that being choked out.

The screenplay as well is exceptional and it takes the audience on a winding path that leads to a ghost tour. Nothing is hand-fed to its audience, no as you watch on you are expected to try and put together the pieces of the jigsaw yourself and to his credit Wright’s screenplay leaves you with a twist that is surprising as it is stunningly devious.

Both Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy are brilliant as they play mirror images of each other and to their credit both pull off amazing performances despite the way the film’s storyline tests them throughout, but credit must also be paid to the wonderful Diana Rigg who sadly passed away shortly after the film wrapped and to Terence Stamp (Superman) who steals the show as the mysterious silver-haired gentlemen who haunts modern day Soho. I also have to mention Matt Smith who is sensational as the villainous Jack and his stare and leer is still imprinted in my mind now – days after I have seen the film.

Last Night In Soho is a film that is going to become a classic. In traditional Edgar Wright fashion in blends genres with ease and contains a magical soundtrack that will have you reaching for Spotify the moment you leave the cinema. This is a hauntingly beautiful yet horrific masterpiece that I cannot wait to revisit again.

5/5 Stars