Last Night in Soho

Last Night in Soho ★★★

On paper and indeed in its best moments, this movie was made for me. Are you telling me that two of my favorite young talents star alongside each other in a ‘golden-age-thinking’ horror movie, reminiscent of Argento in the vibrant beautiful-ugly? I’m tearing up.

Unfortunately, this was not a great movie, and just barely a good movie… maybe. The disjointed moments make it hard to tell.

In its missing of many marks, Last Night in Soho is a disappointment, coming across like the high-budget horror debut it is. And yet the crucial elements are all here, and hold the bombastic flair that could conceivably make this film a satisfying home run. This begs the question of why this wasn't absolutely rock solid in its presentation, because the talent is here - in front of and behind the camera - and the hands dealt are nothing but stacked in this films' favor.

Not only that, but the set pieces are stunning. Waves of colorful nostalgia permeate this idealistic London scene, made believable by a wonderfully hypnotic plot that could conceivably weave it’s way through through the cliches and genre pitfalls with the fluid ease of our Sandy dancing on stage! And it’s f**king maddening, because I can see such a wonderfully cohesive film amidst these pieces. I know that’s easy to say with a lot of disappointing movies, but I mean it more than ever here. There are moments of highly satisfying, decadent cinematic brilliance here, and I’m beyond grateful to have those solidified in my memory in all their glory, but I wish there was something to wrap them together to complete the package.

Even though the delivery of themes was a little heavy-handed at times, there is one element of this film that hits it’s mark. The message of the terrors of toxic, misogynistic masculinity came across loud and clear for me, with brutal force. Who knows? Maybe this was just me in the right place at the right time, mentally prepared to dive deep into something that’s on my mind a lot, but either way the film delivered value here and added a little bit of real substance to the style.

I won’t go into spoilers, but the way this story navigates horrible, disgusting men, is highly effective. It adds satisfying layers to both the main and supporting characters, because we get to see how they handle real-world moral dilemmas and tackle the scary black and white truths. I gathered most of my empathy and understanding of the characters through this, and it helped keep the relentless fever dream pretty firmly on the ground for a good portion of the film.

And now it’s the day after watching Last Night in Soho, and I’m still fully immersed, dying to sink my teeth in deeper, because it doesn’t feel complete. I see the brilliance, but I wish I didn’t because it’s nagging me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t regret watching this, and maybe my best approach to the whole thing is to see it as a teaser for what Edgar Wright could do next within this wonderfully captivating film niche, should he wish to learn from this and evolve. We know he’s a master, but it would seem what he’s learned isn’t enough to tackle a film like this.

I’m sad and happy. Lost and yet glad for it. Either way, this film left an impact on me, and that always means something. It certainly isn’t bland in its polarization - I’m glad about that - and frankly this will be a super fun one to talk with fellow film-nerds about.

I’m going to go watch Argento’s Suspiria again before I rewatch. Maybe that’ll help me put my finger on what’s going on with this.

STATUS: Ghosts of Misogynists Past

I can’t decide whether Thomasin and Anya are another powerhouse duo, or if they belong in separate movies…

Block or Report

🌹CinemaConnoisseur🥀 liked these reviews