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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Review: Last Night In Soho

Director: Edgar Wright

Screenplay: Edgar Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Year: 2021

After a long stretch away from horror cinema, the director Edgar Wright, who captivated many fans of this genre with what is considered one of the best horror-comedies "Shaun of the Dead" returns with a new movie. As you would expect for a director who has already made his mark on this genre and who has made excellent films outside of it, high expectations have been set. These expectations only increased when the first trailer was released, in which a well-polished film is seen that promises to be terrifying. 

Ellie is a young man from a small rural town, who moves to London to study fashion. In London, Ellie rents a room in an old lady's house and soon begins to have visions about a woman who lived there in the ‘60s. Initially, Ellie is fascinated with the history of the woman, who went to London in search of fame, but soon the story reveals the less vain and dark part of the city and it becomes more and more dangerous for Ellie.

From the first takes, it stands out that “Last Night in Soho” is visually well worked and that this will be an important facet in its development. It also hints that the direction and the performances will also be part of its strengths and that they will play an important role, especially those of Thomasin McKenzie (“Jojo Rabbit”) and Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Witch”), who are who we spend the most time with throughout the movie. However, as the plot develops and these points are accentuated, its problems are also revealed.

The most important of its problems is that the story keeps the viewer interested in what is going to happen and the twists are very well worked, but it never makes you fall in love with it. One of the possible culprits is the script, in which the main characters are well fleshed out, but the secondary characters are not, and many of their actions are hasty and end up having plenty of weight in the plot. Among the social themes in which it develops its plot is the physical and psychological abuse that a person in a position of power can exercise to another in search of opportunities, and if this theme does not resonate with you, it is difficult to identify with the characters.

Another problem is the horror aspect. In fact, I wouldn't even qualify it as a horror movie, but rather as a psychological thriller, as it is efficient at maintaining tension, but there is nothing about it that brings it into the horror genre. Even the supernatural aspect, on which it relies heavily, feels too contained as if it purposely didn’t want to be terrifying, even though it has all the elements to be so.

“Last Night in Soho” is an artistically perfect film, with stimulating and well-crafted visuals and an excellent soundtrack composed of music from the 60s. However, on the narrative aspect, it does not have the same performance. Also, the social issues that it works on have a very specific audience, and if you are not part of the audience it is aimed at, it is difficult to get hooked on the plot.

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