Directed by Edgar Wright
Stars: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Michael Ajao, Terence Stamp, and Diana Rigg
Last Night in Soho, is one of the best psychological horrors I’ve seen in a long time. Not for the reasons the trailer made it appear to be, but for the darker underbelly that Wright shows of the 1960’s London. This is by far the most serious work of Edgar Wrights incredible career, and there’s so much fun to be had with it.
A young girl passionate about fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to be falling apart with shady consequence.
Wright replaces his comedic touch, with a darker overtone. One that depicts it’s colourful and high fashion London backdrop with a sense of impending doom like a dark murderous cloud looming over our characters and the people of London. Everything about Wrights’ is gorgeous yet daunting. The fashion of the time period is encapsulated perfectly, each outfit looking even nicer than the last an honour to the 60’s fashion era. The production design is marvellous, and the buildings of London’s Soho district fit perfectly into the dark and glamorous narrative that Wright establishes. The camera work pans onto the buildings in past and present each one having its own memories and own haunting stories.
On a narrative basis, the story is not what I was imagining it would be from the trailers. This is such a pleasant surprise, as we get a layered feminist story that showcases the horror that so many woman experience and continue to experience. With just simple glimpses, Wright effectively creates horror with its male characters showing the psychological terror that females have long been apart of on the part of random men around the globe. Both Joy, and McKenzie’s characters are strong female character though and neither one is every portrayed as battered and weak. Rather they're given resilient personalities and are the strongest in the film, alongside the wonderful Diana Rigg whose Ms. Collins uses all her screen time successfully and steals her scenes. The story gets messy as we fall deeper into the madness that McKenzie’s character is going through, but it’s all for the end goal of landing two massive twists, both that wrap the story up perfectly.
The acting is phenomenal. Both McKenzie and Joy are some of the best young actresses in Hollywood, and their chemistry is clear- their interactions feed into the story in a way that is both horrifying and part endearing. Matt Smith and Diana Rigg are phenomenal at their craft and both set the tone accordingly with their screentime. While, Michael Ajao is such a welcome newcomer to Hollywood, his sweet and caring John bringing some light through the darkness. Ajao hopefully will get some more work because he does so well alongside his established castmembers.
In the end, SoHo rocks and is yet again another incredible addition to Edgar Wrights filmography well worth renting for any fans of the psychological horror sub genre.