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Last Night in Soho – TIFF21

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Last Night in Soho – TIFF21

Synopsis:
An aspiring fashion designer is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something darker.

A fashion student is haunted by memories of an aspiring singer from the 1960s in . Eloise () is a 1960s-obsessed young woman from the English countryside, who is accepted into the London College of Fashion. Unhappy with the living situation at her dorm, Eloise decides to rent a room in London's Soho district from Miss Collins (). While sleeping in the room, Eloise has nightly visions that transport herself to the 1960s, where she lives in the footsteps of Sandy (), an aspiring lounge-singer, courted by charming manager Jack (). However, the visions progressively get darker for Eloise, as she learns of something sinister that happens.

Last Night in Soho is a horror fantasy directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver), from a script co-written by Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (1917). The film stars Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo RabbitOld), who happens to have the ability to have visions of the dead. When she begins having visions of 1960s lounge singer Sandy, Eloise initially finds great inspiration in both her fashion designing and personal appearance. However, when she learns something terrible might have happened to Sandy, Eloise finds herself tormented by the ghosts of the past.

Last Night in Soho is a very stylized film with red and blue visual cues that are clearly inspired by films such as Dario Argento's Suspiria, with the plot also having a very Hitchcockian flair to it. The mid-film switch from 1960s fantasy to full-on Giallo-influenced horror might catch some off guard, but Last Night in Soho is a film that will probably satisfy those who have been fans of Edgar Wright since Shaun of the Dead. I'll also add that the film has some strong performances, from the mirroring leads of Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy and a great final role for the late Diana Rigg.

Last Night in Soho is screening as part of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival


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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.