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Edgar Wright delivers ‘style and scares’ in new horror Last Night in Soho

Edgar Wright directs the horror film Last Night in Soho which stars Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp and Diana Rigg

Last Night in Soho – Official Teaser Trailer [HD] – In Theaters October

Last Night in Soho

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Director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) is back sporting an entry into the horror genre with his twisted love letter to London.

The stylish outing Last Night in Soho sees quirky country-girl Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) head to London to study fashion and chase her dreams of being a designer.

When she feels isolated from other students, Eloise moves out of the student halls and into a room in central Soho.

As she stays there, Eloise begins to experience journeys back in time to 1960s Soho and in the body of beautiful wannabe singer Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy).

However, Eloise’s trips to the past begin to grow increasingly similar and what felt like a dream becomes a dangerous nightmare.



Country girl Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) moves to London in Last Night in Soho
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Image:

YouTube/Focus Features)




McKenzie, having won fans with Leave No Trace and Jojo Rabbit, once again proves herself as a young talent playing ingenue and fish out of water Eloise, whose sixth sense and love of vintage fashion and music make her stand out from her peers.

Capturing her naivety, innocence and growing intoxication with her surroundings and otherworldly adventures, McKenzie brings sensitivity and gravity to the more outlandish sequences.

Meanwhile, the popular Taylor-Joy is perfectly cast as Sandie, an enigmatic but beguiling figure who is all charisma and ethereal glamour, pulling in both Eloise and the audience.



Eloise finds herself transported back to 1960s Soho after moving into her new home
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Image:

YouTube/Focus Features)






Anya Taylor-Joy as Eloise’s new obsession, wannabe singer Sandie
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Image:

YouTube/Focus Features)




Elsewhere, Matt Smith proves to be thoroughly charming but with an air of danger playing Sandie’s love interest and would-be manager Jack who becomes a focus of Eloise’s desires as well.

Two true scene stealers come from the wonderful Terence Stamp as a sinister man that Eloise encounters and also the late legend that is Diana Rigg who plays the sharp-tongued landlady who Eloise moves in with in Soho.

Likeable work should also be praised with a thoroughly natural and charming turn from Michael Ajao as Eloise’s only college friend, John, who tries to save her from her isolation.



Matt Smith as the charming Jack in Last Night in Soho
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Image:

YouTube/Focus Features)






The late and great Dame Diana Rigg in Last Night in Soho
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Image:

YouTube/Focus Features)




In addition to McKenzie and Ajao’s work, Wright succeeds in capturing the alienating experience of a newcomer to living in the capital, before edging into horror territory as Eloise’s dreams and visions become all-encompassing and ghoulish.

Throughout, the director’s trademark wit and observational comedy also shines through and often within some considerably dark moments.

Yet despite crafting an intoxicating portrait of a bygone era with pitch-perfect wardrobe, production design and soundtrack choices, the film does become repetitive heading into the third act and events feel rather less perilous as a result.



Will the connection between Eloise and Sandie save them or destroy them?
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Image:

YouTube/Focus Features)




Thankfully, the conclusion is a slice of campy fun and ensures a satisfying if not slightly muddled climax to the original mystery.

It will certainly be one worth revisiting on sheer entertainment value alone, but elements of its execution will definitely prove divisive.

Verdict

Last Night in Soho is a flawed but highly entertaining and gorgeous film with style and scares in abundance from director Edgar Wright.

Last Night in Soho was shown at BFI London Film Festival and will be released in UK cinemas on October 29, 2021.




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