Last Night in Soho is a 2021 British psychological horror film directed and co-written by Edgar Wright. Set in modern day London, the film moves between this contemporary setting and the 1960s in a fantastical premise, that is good fun overall but stretches the bounds of the suspension of disbelief somewhat.
The main strengths of Last Night in Soho are two-fold viz. the excellent cast and performances and the nostalgic factor of Swinging Sixties London. Thus, the soundtrack plays a significant factor in an enjoyable viewer experience overall. There’s also a strong thematic thread of existential dread that runs through the length of the movie.
Essentially, the story revolves around fashion student Eloise “Ellie” Turner (Thomasin McKenzie), who is obsessed with ‘60s pop culture, who is beginning her studies at the London College of Fashion. Nothing remarkable happens till she decides to board at a bedsit owned by the elderly Ms Collins (Diana Rigg).
Rather inexplicably, Ellie is transported back to ‘60s London, and experiences the tragic life of aspiring singer Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy) who seems to be living the dream life that Ellie wishes she could. Sandy is ‘discovered’ by Jack (Matt Smith) and everything appears to be coming up roses. Inevitably, of course, life for Sandy nosedives almost immediately and Ellie is dragged into a waking nightmare that threatens her mental health and perhaps her life as well.
At this point, all logic is thrown out of the window to create a scenario initially familiar to most horror buffs but narratively mangled out of shape by the third act in order for Last Night in Soho to end with a (telegraphed) twist. Frankly, the ending is weak considering the build up that preceded and we shall address this in a separate post (with spoilers).
In the final analysis, Last Night in Soho possesses much to recommend itself but the flawed writing requires a switching off of the logic centres in order to enjoy its better moments.
Opening in Singapore on 25th November.
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