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‘Last Night in Soho’ dazzles bright while subversively filling audiences with fright

‘Last Night in Soho’ dazzles bright while subversively filling audiences with fright

‘Last Night in Soho’ dazzles bright while subversively filling audiences with fright
November 04
12:00 2021

A murder in the past. A mystery in the future. “Last Night in Soho”, the newest film by Edgar Wright, intertwines a period piece with an intriguing murder mystery. Wright has established himself as a master behind the camera in every way possible, but whether or not this film helps strengthen his status is somewhat mixed. Regardless, this neon-drenched thriller does a lot of good, even if the film lost me in the last third, everything prior was worthy of praise.

This cast is dripping in star power, led by Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy‘s portrayal of Eloise and Sandie, respectfully. McKenzie has made quite the name for herself since starring in “Jojo Rabbit,” and her status will continue to grow because of her performance in this film. Taylor-Joy has also been skyrocketing in popularity recently, and rightfully so. In everything she’s been in, from “Split” to “The Queen’s Gambit,” Taylor-Joy has never given a bad performance. Her character, Sandie, is probably the most intriguing part of the movie, especially by the end.

McKenzie and Taylor-Joy are the focal points here, and the movie was smart enough to use them as such. I fully bought into this supernatural mystery because McKenzie was able to bring an amazing complexity to her role. She starts the film off embracing this new world with open arms, but then things take a terrifyingly-tight turn.

This is a murder mystery, making this film a horror movie, which is its weakest element. The characters in this movie are either the nicest people you have ever seen or cartoonishly evil, which I was actually a big fan of. Everyone’s performances are perfect for a horror film like this, but when the film actually tries to be scary, it doesn’t really work for me. The most terrifying moments in this film come from real-world horrors, and I am glad Wright brought on Krysty Wilson-Cairns to tackle a story with this much weight. I could have done without the jump scares and design of the monsters, however.

The biggest problem of this film comes from the last 15 minutes. Wright and company tie things up quickly, regardless if there are questions to be answered by the time the credits roll. Up until those last couple of scenes, this is one of the most fun movies I have seen this year. The dark humor is very present, and it got some good laughs out of me. I always forget how dark Wright can get with his humor, which is a pleasant surprise when it catches me off guard. Even if this is the weakest entry in Wright’s filmography, there still is a lot to love. The longer I have sat on it, the more I have come to enjoy it. It also helped that I watched this film right before Halloween, which really made the theater-going experience more immersive.

Even if the film doesn’t stick the landing, “Last Night in Soho” is a wild ride to go on. You always want to make sure your ending is the strongest part of your movie, but if an ending is bad, it shouldn’t discredit the incredible beginning and middle. This was one of my most anticipated movies of the year, from one of my favorite directors, so I may have suffered from setting my expectations too high. At the end of the day, I enjoyed my time in Soho, and attribute the film to the resurgence of the slasher genre.

Jaden’s final rating: 3.75/5

Image source NME

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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