REVIEW: Last Night in Soho
Sixties spooks and sounds
If you dig British music from the Sixties, then that alone is probably reason enough to see the new “psychological thriller” Last Night in Soho. But, there’s no werewolves “walking through the streets… in the rain” in this film (at least not that I saw); instead it is a stylish and spooky ghost story that, to me, is sort of a British version of The Shining.
Directed and written by Edgar Wright (see 2017’s Baby Driver), together with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Last Night in Soho follows the misadventures of a reserved, young, country-girl, Eloise Turner (Thomasin McKenzie), who goes to the big city to follow her dream of becoming a fashion designer… and if that sounds like a film you’d easily pass on, wait, there’s more.
Eloise has the gift/curse of seeing dead people, and soon after she arrives in Soho (in current times) she becomes connected, through her visions, with a beautiful and bold girl from the sixties, Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), who desires to become a singer in a Soho nightclub act.
If you think that nothing good will come of this cross-dimensional relationship, well, you are probably right. Matt Smith (Doctor Who) plays Sandie’s “love” interest, and Terence Stamp is a mysterious figure in current day who is somehow also tied to the Sandie events in the past.
This film starts rather slow with the fashion designing sub-plot, but it picks up steam after awhile, and by the end you’ll be pretty creeped-out and likely on the edge of your seat. The performances by Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit) are first rate.
And as I mentioned, the film’s music soundtrack is awesome. Even the title of the film comes from a sixties’ song, “Last Night In Soho” by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. There are also songs by The Kinks, Dusty Springfield, and The Who. And there is also an incredible version of the Petula Clark hit song from 1964, Downtown, performed by actress Anya Taylor-Joy.
Another big plus in this film is the cinematography and special effects that seamlessly blend together the two lead actresses throughout the action. There are some pretty spooky and unique ghost effects as well.
Last Night in Soho is a good re-envisioning of the classic ghost story and a great choice for your Halloween viewing pleasure this season.