18 April 2024

LNIS_FP_005_R2 Thomasin McKenzie stars as Eloise and Anya Taylor-Joy as Sandie in Edgar Wright’s LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features / ©2021 Focus Features, LLC

Film Review – Last Night In Soho (2022)

Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie) is obsessed with the Sixties. She also dreams of being a fashion designer and incorporating her love of an era gone by into her work. So, after being selected to attend a fashion school in London, Ellie packs her bags and says goodbye to her grandmother, Peggy (Rita Tushingham), hoping for a new life with exciting new possibilities.

However, once she gets there, she soon finds out that the glitz and glamour of the big city is not all that it’s cracked up to be. She doesn’t get on with her roommates and after one too many parties and people stealing her food, she finds a place to rent from the kind, but stern Ms Collins (Diana Rigg).

Settling in, Ellie puts on her record player, relaxes and falls asleep and that’s where her dreams take her away. Ellie dreams of being in the Sixties where London was the place to be and that anybody who was anybody was trying to make a success of themselves. Although when Ellie looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see herself, she sees Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Sandie epitomises everything that Ellie wants to be.

Sandie is beautiful, glamorous and a very talented singer and that’s when she meets Jack (Matt Smith) who promises that he can make her a star. However, Ellie is about to realise that even in her dreams, the road to success is not paved with gold.

In her waking life, Ellie feels inspired by her dreams and feels a new wave of confidence flow through her. Although as her dreams get more frequent, she starts to see the bad side of Sandie’s life and soon she has trouble telling the difference between fantasy and reality. This becomes especially disturbing when Ellie meets a silver haired gentleman (Terence Stamp) who takes a rather creepy interest in her.

Last Night in Soho is a horror film directed by Edgar Wright and his first that’s played seriously as he has a sinister tale to tell. Fans of Wright’s previous work may be divided by his approach though, because although Wright’s previous work is filled with an eclectic collection of films, Last Night in Soho feels like more of a risk. There are no fast cuts, practically no jokes and it almost feels like it was made by another director.

That’s not to say that it’s bad, but it doesn’t seem to come up to Wright’s standards and may as well be directed by somebody else. There are some great performances from the two female leads supported wonderfully by some of the best actors whose heydays were the Sixties. However, Last Night in Soho’s message comes across as a little confused, instead feeling like a mixture of Doctor Who and Inside No. 9.

Horror, Thriller | UK, 2022 | 15 | Blu-ray, DVD, Digital | Out now | Universal Pictures HE | Dir. Edgar Wright | Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg, Rita Tushingham, Terence Stamp.

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