Last Night in Soho (2021): Experience the 60s London in this Horror-Thriller

Last Night in Soho, directed by Edgar Wright, is a psychedelic horror film which shifts from present time to the London of the 1960s. The film is a posthumous release and is dedicated to Diana Rigg, the 60s British actress who also played the role of Ms. Collins in the film. Last Night in Soho had a theatrical release in the UK on October 29, 2021.

The film follows Eloise “Ellie” Turner (Thomasin McKenzie) who is an aspiring fashion student from a small town. She moves to London and is quickly overwhelmed by the city’s fast and modern life. After moving into her landlord—Ms. Collins’—house, Ellie is transported into a dream-like reality which takes her into the 60s era of London. She meets Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy), and is entranced by her style. However, Ellie quickly realises that behind all the glamour and glitz is a dark and brutal reality.

The Good:

The set of retro London made me want to visit that era myself. The 60s were all about the colours. I’m glad the cinematography of the film didn’t lack in this area. The bright colours, eccentric fashion and the general style of the 60s were portrayed perfectly in Ellie’s visions.

Coming to the cast, I feel like nobody else could have played the role of Sandy better than Anya Taylor-Joy. The actress played her part with sheer elegance and perfection. Her seductive style of acting really suited the character. One significant scene which really made me fell in love with Sandy was the bar audition scene. Anya’s vocals while singing Downtown by Petula Clark were absolutely next level.

Another thing which captivated me was the sound and visual effects. Edgar Wright tried creating a mirror image between Sandy and Ellie. The details were carefully taken care of while jumping between reality and Ellie’s visions. The psychedelic theme, although sometimes overdone, really suited the premise of the film.

Based around an aspiring fashion designer, the film features some really good outfits and costumes. From Eloise’s newspaper dress to Sandy’s pink tent dress, the fashion styles were bold and retro and downright eye-catching, courtesy to the film’s costume designer—Odile Dicks-Mireaux. “I had to design a dress that would inspire a whole fashion show,” Odile said during an interview with Slash Film.

The Bad:

While the first half of the film was interesting, I felt that the second half lost its original essence and deviated further into tedious thriller. The plot could have been dissected further and experimented with. Later on in the film, many scenes felt repetitive and excessive.

I think the short romance between Ellie and John (Michael Ajao) felt forceful and redundant. Their characters did not seem to have a good chemistry. Also, it was a bit far-fetched how John went out of his way to help Ellie, a girl he barely knew, even after she got him involved in various horrifying events.

The horror-thriller lost its excitement midway and became too dramatic or comedic at times. The climax might be predictable for some, and underwhelming for others.

The Verdict:

If possible, I would recommend watching this film in theatre since the big screen would give more depth to the effects and setting as a whole. The psychedelic sequences created a magnificent experience. Overall, the plot wasn’t that great but the experience of watching a film on the big screen overruled the shortcomings.
I would recommend, don’t keep too high expectations from the thriller aspect and just enjoy the retro music and fashion this film provides.

Directed By: Edgar Wright
Cast: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Michael Ajao, Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp

 

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Overall
7.3/10
7.3/10
  • Acting - 8.3/10
    8.3/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9/10
    9/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6/10
    6/10
  • Setting/Theme - 9/10
    9/10
  • Watchability - 7/10
    7/10
  • Rewatchability - 4.5/10
    4.5/10
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About Soumya Jain

Soumya binge-watches movies on a regular basis and loves to engage in book clubs and movie marathons. She also wishes that she was born in the 80s.