Last Night in Soho (2021)

last night in soho poster 2021 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Instant cult classic, great visuals and cast

Second half loses some steam

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Last Night in Soho

Studio:  Focus Features International (FFI)/Film4/Perfect World Pictures

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense/Horror/Drama

Release Date(s):  September 4, 2021 (Venice Film Festival)/October 29, 2022 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

last night in soho mirrors ellie sandie thomasin mckenzie anya taylor joy

Where does Sandie end and Ellie begin?

Ellie Turner (Thomasin McKenzie) has dreamed of a career of fashion all her life and going to London to study at the London College of Fashion.  When Ellie is accepted, she finds leaving a small town for the big city is more than she can handle.  Moving out on her own, Ellie finds herself in the home of Ms. Collins (Diana Rigg) and renting a room where things begin to change.  Ellie starts dreaming of the 1960s Swinging London that she loves and in her dreams she’s a woman named Sandie (Anya Taylor Joy).  Sandie is an aspiring singer and with her boyfriend Jack (Matt Smith), she hopes to make the big time…but Jack has other plans.  As Ellie’s life begins to spiral out of control, the lines between the past and the present and waking life and dreams begins to blur.  Ellie begins to question where she ends and where Sandie begins.

last night in soho ellie halloween

What did Ellie see?

Written and directed by Edgar Write (with additional scripting by Krysty Wilson-Cairns), Last Night in Soho is a horror-suspense thriller.  The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and received positive reviews.

I lived in London in the 1997 for a few months and a lot of the area covered in Last Night in Soho was where I hung out.  Cutting through Soho proper was always a fun and (even at that time) somewhat salacious means to get from the Piccadilly area to New Oxford Rd.  One Night in Soho was not only a fun trip back, but visual treat…and a somewhat successful horror film.  A *****spoiler alert***** is in effect for the rest of the review.

last night in soho sandie jack matt smith anya taylor joy dancing

Stick with me!

The story has highs and lows.  The beginning part of the film is loaded with Ellie’s doubts and fears and the sense of empowerment and kinship she finds in this strange time portal which resembles a cross between Midnight in Paris and Somewhere in Time.  In joining with Sandie, the film switches to a psychological horror mystery.  Ellie is trying to find out what happened to Sandie as her current world is crashing out of control.  The first half of the movie is fantastic.  The second half is a little obvious and feels beneath the start of the film.

The cast is great.  Thomasin McKenzie is vulnerable as Ellie while Anya Taylor-Joy once again proves she’s one of the better fresh actors who seems to gravitate toward good projects.  Matt Smith is a bit underdone as Jack.  The film features the final role of both Diana Rigg and Margaret Nolan.  The only casting problem I did have was Terence Stamp (who was great).  His younger version Sam Claflin was so obviously a younger version of Stamp in his scene that it undermined the plot because you knew Matt Smith wasn’t Terence Stamp as an old man (which I also have credit to Claflin who gave a great Terence Stamp imitation).

last night in soho ghosts ellie thomasin mckenzie

Even in death these guys are handsy with the women

The movie is visually great.  The story involves a lot of mirrors and which not only help set-up the duality plotline but also has both Ellie and the audience question if what they are seeing is real.  The movie is flashy and really soaks up the Swinging ’60s vibe.  Like the story, the visuals loose a little luster when it becomes a straight horror film, but it is still remains strong.

Last Night in Soho is one of those movies you watch and you can tell it is going to become an instant cult classic.  It is a movie that kind of flies under the radar, has a hot cast, doesn’t get a ton of awards, but still gets good reviews…and enough twists to make it worth viewing more than once.  Though I have some basic criticisms of the movie, the overall watching experience is a positive one.  Soho has appeal.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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