Andrea’s Film Review – Last Night in Soho

Last Night in Soho ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

An aspiring fashion designer is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something darker. On in cinemas across London.

This film is sold as a psychological thriller and while there might be some truth in that, it is definitely veering more towards the horror genre than anything else. So your enjoyment of it will eventually depend on your love for that type of stuff and on just how much you’re willing go with it.

I came to it quite blind, something I do quite often, avoiding trailers, reviews. I love to be surprised by the films I watch. Not knowing where they’re going to take me is part of the fun and I usually cherish u-turns and twists. But here the more the film took the horror route (a genre which I know well and I usually enjoy) the more I began to tune out. For once I almost wished I could have been more ready for what was lurking ahead.

The set up was quite intriguing: the young Eloise, played by a wonderful Thomasin McKenzie who had already shown her skills in Jojo Rabbit, moves to London to study fashion design. But after moving to a rented room in Soho she starts having mysterious dreams in which she’s able to enter the nightlife of the swinging 1960s. Soon these dreams turn into something much darker and Soho itself begins to show its seedier side.

There is certainly a great sense of style in this film and that’s not surprising for those who have been following director Edgar Wright’s career, from Shaun of the Dead to Hot Fuzz and more recently Baby Driver. His love for the ‘60s vibes, his attention to detail, his passion for music and the Soho settings is apparent in every frame and the film is better for it. At times it is seductive, intoxicating, intriguing, and yes creepy too. So far so good.

It feels almost like Wright is aspiring to be a sort of British David Lynch and he actually gets tantalisingly close to making it work, but unfortunately once ghouls or ghost or zombies or whatever-those-are start to show up and it turns gory and over the top, it all turns a bit silly. Unresolved loose ends become more and more apparent (a whole subplot with a roommate goes nowhere, same with a set up at Halloween), and crucially it gets lot less scary: as always with these sort of horror films, the less you see the better.

In the end not even the presence of Terence Stamp and Anya Taylor-Joy, on her first appearance since the Queen’s Gambit, can save you from that feeling of disappointment. Despite the stylish look and the many good things going for it, this is still a very messy film.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.

Last Night in Soho is in cinemas across London now.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: November Books – Reviews by Annakarin Klerfalk

See also: The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Lyric Hammersmith – review

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.