It is a nice change of pace from the man who bought us Baby Driver and Hot Fuzz. Last Night in Soho tells the tale of Eloise Turner (Thomasin McKenzie), a wide eyed young girl full of dreams of making it in fashion in the big smoke. Her life soon becomes entwined with Sandie (Anya Taylor–Joy), a blonde bombshell from the ’60s with dreams of becoming the next Cilla Black. As both their journey’s progress, we learn why Eloise is connected to Sandie and that the streets of London are not paved with gold.
Directed by Edgar Wright, Last Night in Soho is a dark and intense psychological horror. It starts out full of the joie de vivre, gaiety and joy of the swinging 60s with the foot tapping tunes to match, but ends up dark and twisted, with all those hopes and dreams not what they seem. As well as a change of genre for Wright, another refreshing thing is that the centre of attention is on two complex, fully fleshed out women. This was no doubt helped by the talented new screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns, whose debut feature film was the screenplay for the little ol’ war flick 1917.
Anya Taylor-Joy is her usual charming, effervescent self, with Sandie’s bright and bubbly nature tested as time goes by. Thomasin McKenzie is her equal, you really feel for the sweet and innocent Eloise – a little fish in a big pond. The late Diana Rigg is great as Eloise’s warm yet fierce landlady Ms Collins. As the film is heavily inspired by the ’60s, it was the perfect casting and a fitting tribute to her. Matt Smith is Sandie’s talent spotter Jack, an opportunistic womaniser with the gift of the gab.
Last Night in Soho is a dark, surreal and gripping look into London and the swinging 60s, with some visceral twists and turns and a freaky vein of horror at its core.