When you think of Edgar Wright, horror isn’t quite the first thing that comes to mind. Horror comedy, maybe (Shaun of the Dead, of course), but not straight up horror in the most spine-chilling sense of the word. When Last Night In Soho was released last year, I let the below average reviews get so much into my head that I didn’t even bother going to see it in the cinema. But maybe I was wrong to do that.
The film follows Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, a passionate fashion student who has just left her little countryside town in Cornwall to attend university in the big smoke. Things in London aren’t all as they seem however when Eloise realises that she can mysteriously travel back to the 1960s… with dire consequences.
So, I said that this got some pretty sub-par reviews upon release. I must be missing something? A lot of people hated this movie… but I thought it was half decent. And I’ll tell you why.
Is it the best Edgar Wright film to date? Well, no. And it doesn’t bear much resemblance to his other work either to be honest. However, it does represent his aspirations to do something a little bit more out of his comfort zone, which is admirable to say the least. I can appreciate the frustration some had with it though – what was sold to audiences in the film’s trailer was not a true representation whatsoever. If you’re expecting an out-and-out horror film – which is what the trailer seemed to promise – there’s no wonder why you would be disappointed.
The plot itself has taken quite a lot of flack too and it is evidently not perfect; not only is it way, way too long but it lacks pace at times and could have done with being at least 15 minutes shorter. I did like the various twists though – I’m not entirely sure why people hated the story so much, in all honesty. Most cried “predictable!” whereas I didn’t see some of it coming. (I won’t tell you what that was for fear of spoilers, obviously.)
Whilst many praise Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance in most things, it is no doubt Thomasin McKenzie who shines brightest this time. She really takes the bull by the horns and runs with it in Soho, and it’s no surprise that she’s becoming one of the most sought after young stars today. Of course, Last Night in Soho was marketed as being a Taylor-Joy film, so once again, if you were expecting her to have the most screen time, you’ll finish this movie feeling a little hard done by.
Even though it’s not the most memorable film I’ve seen this year, there’s a lot of good things going on in Last Night in Soho. You may be most impressed by its fabulous lighting, its quirky story or its vintage aesthetic, but even if nothing else, it has one hell of a soundtrack.
Last Night in Soho is currently streaming on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design:
Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½