Last Night in Soho

Last Night in Soho ★★½


Pretty bad, although not without its scattered charms either. Loved Anya Taylor-Joy and Terence Stamp. Fun dancing and cute looks from the former, and plenty of scowling and spooky line-reads from the latter. Thomasin McKenzie is great too, as usual. Edgar Wright pulls back from his intoxicating styling in fits and starts, which is a nice change of pace, but I wish the material was there to back it up. After the sturdy first hour, Last Night in Soho falls to pieces. What is it with film-geek directors who just can't help themselves with empty referential surface? This is a basic remix of every psychological thriller (from Polanski to De Palma and back again) trope in the book, and nothing productive comes out of it. And when it does turn towards outright horror, it's similarly literal and obvious. Edgar Wright loves the genre to death and somehow all of the scares in this movie are absolutely terrible, featuring clunky jump-scares and ghouls that are right out of a bargain-bin ten-pack horror DVD. If anything, the clumsy plotting and predictable revelations wouldn't matter as much if the narrative thread of overdosing on nostalgia wasn't abandoned so abruptly. There are plenty of interesting ideas buried in the script but it needed some refinement. You might as well stop the movie after the first 60 minutes and turn on Carnival of Souls.

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