[Review] ‘Last Night in Soho’ is a intoxicating psychotic thriller

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Photo Courtesy of PosterSpy

Tatiana Ortiz, Writer

On Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, the movie “Last Night in Soho” was released in theaters. This psychological horror movie was the perfect film to watch for Halloween. Eerie, ominous and twisted, this movie is a dreamlike tale turned sinister.

The movie starts as a slowburn journey following main character Ellie Turner, played by Thomison McKenzie. Aspiring fashion designer Ellie moves to London after being accepted to a fashion school. With a history of mental health problems following her mother’s death, Ellie is warned by her grandmother to be careful.

After arriving in London, Ellie is greeted by a self-absorbed roommate, and she cannot seem to fit in with the crowd. Feeling a need for distance from the superficial students, Ellie rents a place from an old woman named Miss Collins, played by Diana Rigg. On the first night, she seems to be mentally transported into 1960’s London, following an aspiring singer’s life, Sandy. Played by Anya Taylor-Joy, the singer has a dream of becoming a star and forms a connection with a young gentleman called Jack.

Ellie soon becomes enraptured by Sandy after the mental encounter and starts bringing this mysterious woman from the past to the present. However, Sandy’s life takes a demented twist. Ellie becomes obsessed with Sandy’s life and cannot seem to shake the troubled singer from her consciousness. Caught between reality and the hallucinations of Sandy, Ellie is determined to figure out what happened to the young singer.

The cinematography in this movie can only be described as fascinating.Cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung does a compelling job at paralleling the two girls’ stories. At some points, you cannot tell what is reality and what is fiction. The lighting, set design and makeup were all beautifully chosen to portray the aesthetic of the story and emotion each scene gives off.

The costumes in this movie are chic and inspiring. Following the fashion from this era, Odile Dicks-Mireaux, the costume designer of this film, captures that essence in the costumes beautifully. Each outfit was carefully chosen to present each character’s journey and personality.

I was truly impressed with Thomasin McKenzie and her performance. This New Zealand actress portrays a wonderful psychotic girl and truly makes the audience feel the character’s dilemma and anxiety through the screen. It is evident that she put her time into this role and anyone who watches can see that.

Another actress I was in awe of was Anya Taylor-Joy. I have always enjoyed Anya’s acting and in this movie, she takes a dark turn to her usual roles. The audience was just as obsessed with her as Ellie was. Playing Sandy, Anya spins a persona of a troubled girl who is thrown into a bad situation.

Rated R, this movie is wonderful to watch with friends. It has a slow beginning for the first 20 minutes but picks up once the plot is introduced. “Last Night in Soho” has a bit of a mysterious ending, leaving a lot of questions unanswered, causing the audience to think back on the story to fill in the holes. Whether this was the decision of Director Edgar Wright or not, it is still a captivating story. I truly believe this movie did a successful job at transforming London’s horrific 1960’s past.