The trailers for this new mystery thriller film were very well put together and generated a lot of intrigue from me. I’m very into this genre of film and Anya Taylor Joy is good in just about everything she’s in. Honestly, Last Night in Soho didn’t turn out as well as I was hoping, but it’s certainly not low quality. This is one of those films you walk out of and feel fairly satisfied but don’t feel like you need to go tell all your friends to rush and see it. The performances are all really good and there’s a nice twist but there is also a repetitiveness to the plot that weighs it down.
Anya Taylor Joy is definitely the most captivating cast member here. She gives a wonderful performance and succeeds in making her character interesting and nuanced. I also want to praise her beautiful singing. Joy really knocks it out of the park with her vocals. There’s a reason they’ve been using her rendition of “Downtown” in the trailers… it’s so good!
Thomasin McKenzie does an overall nice job as the film’s lead, although she is outshined by Joy. Michael Ajao also outshines her as the sweet guy she ends up dating. Ajao serves as a friendly face amongst a sea of awful college students that McKenzie’s character is surrounded by. He is very likable and does a good job of making us care about him.
Terence Stamp is fine, he isn’t bad or anything it’s just that this is his usual schtick. His character is pretty unimportant to the story too so if you’re a fan of his just know that he doesn’t make a very big impact. Stamp may not have made an impact, but Diana Rigg sure did! Rigg gives a focused haunting performance here as McKenzie’s landlady.
The visuals and soundtrack are both very strong and add a lot to the film. The flashbacks to 1960’s London are breathtaking. The city is dazzling with big lights, beautiful architecture, and slick cars. They really did an impressive job setting up that specific world. You can see why McKenzie’s character is so drawn to it all… at first glance it feels like a fairytale.
The costume design is also spot on. I simply must have the retro pink dress that Joy wears during several scenes. The outfits are very elegant and prove to be a pleasure to look at.
Now while most of the visual choices are marvelous, there is one aspect of the visuals that I did not care for: the spirits that McKenzie’s character sees. I just thought the ghouls looked very generic and bland. I was surprised that a film that made so many good visual choices would drop the ball when it came to that.
But the look of the spirits are not the biggest negative here. The main thing that holds this back from being better is the repetitive nature of the plot. At a certain point I just felt the film had lost its momentum and was doing the same thing over and over. There are so many scenes where Eloise (McKenzie) sees a vision or a ghoul of some kind, freaks out in public, and runs away. This happens over and over and it’s uninteresting and after the first time it occurs it just loses any real impact. And they don’t ever change up what she sees, it’s the same thing over and over again, which gets annoying.
What I did appreciate about this films plot was the way it threw out the cut and dry hero/villain narrative and introduced a little nuance. The person you think is innocent isn’t necessarily…. totally innocent. I also appreciated the social commentary made by the film about the treatment of women. The depiction of prostitution is rightfully horrifying and seeing it onscreen makes you hurt for the real life women that have fallen into that kind of work and the abuse many of them have endured.
I do wish that the plot had veered away from the repetitive grating pattern it sets up though. Overall, with the good and bad aspects weighed, the films story comes out as only a little better than average.
Last Night in Soho is a mixed bag with a little more positive than negative. I would recommend seeing this as a matinee or waiting to see it at home. I think it deserves a watch but I wouldn’t say you need to rush out and pull full price to see it.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!