Last Night in Soho Reshapes Horror

If you’re not very good with stress, maybe go see The Addams Family 2 instead.

Last Night in Soho was directed by Edgar Wright and was released in 2021. The film stars Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise and Ana Taylor-Joy as Sandy. After moving into a new apartment, fashion design student Eloise begins having strange dreams about a woman in the 60s, which at first seem like good fun until the dreams become more disturbing and real. 

McKenzie’s performance is mesmerizing. She is able to marvelously balance an innocent college freshman, with her slow descent into madness. This film gives plenty of time to introduce us to her, and let us know who she is, without interfering with the overall plot. Taylor-Joy is also incredible, it’ll make sense when you get to the end, but it’s clearly a performance that she put a lot of thought into, and cared about. Oh, and get ready to immediately download and listen to Taylor-Joy’s cover of “Downtown,” as soon as the movie ends. 

The worst of the cast is a group of McKenzie’s classmates, who are the bullies of the film, which can feel a little too much at times. 

The script is either going to work for you, or it won’t. There’s a lot that is eventually explained, but also plenty left open to interpretation. Some might find issues with what is chosen to be explained and what isn’t, so either way, you will be confused walking out of the theater, but in a good way. 

The characterization is the highlight of the story overall, you find yourself caring about, and empathizing with all our heroes without even noticing. 

Although, the highlight of the film overall, is easily the choreography and staging. The dream sequences where both Eloise and Sandy are in the mirror looking at each other, or dancing genuinely might be some of the best examples of choreography and staging that’s ever been put on film. Sorry, High School Musical

The lighting is spectacular, the way it’s used to convey information, or even disturb the audience puts this far above its competitors. There was one small moment where a blinking light matched up with the beats in a song, and it was awesome attention to detail. 

On the horror aspect of the film, it might be underwhelming for those expecting anything like modern horror. It’s more of a drama than anything else, as the moments that are most nerve-racking or even gross, are more because of the idea behind what’s happening. Something I really respect is that the film is R-rated, and there are multiple moments where they could have had sex scenes, yet instead decide to be subtle. 

The best part about Soho was that it was nothing like I expected, and has some of the most unique filmmaking approaches I’ve ever seen. Films like this are exactly what this industry needs right now, as it takes risks with almost every one of them paying off. Last Night in Soho will make you more than ever, want to take a trip downtown. 

[My Grade for Last Night in Soho is an A]

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