Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith star in an entertaining horror-thriller that takes a trip to the sleazy heart of London’s past
A trip to the dark heart of London’s unswinging 60s is what’s on offer in this entertaining, if uneven, film from screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns and director Edgar Wright, serving up a gorgeous soundtrack and some marvellous re-creations of sleazy Soho and the West End. There’s a tremendous image of the marquee for the 1965 Thunderball premiere in Coventry Street, and a show-stopping crane shot of Soho Square, apparently filmed from where the 20th Century Fox sign is now no longer to be found atop that company’s former premises.
Last Night in Soho is a doppelganger horror-thriller about a wide-eyed fashion student called Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) who has brought her mum’s old Dansette record player and Cilla Black and Petula Clark LPs up to London from Cornwall on the train. Eloise has a fetish for the lost innocent glamour of the 60s but, moping all alone in her manky bedsit, finds herself stricken with neon phantasms. Like a ghost from the future, Eloise dreams her way through a portal in time back into 60s London clubland, where she witnesses Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), a blonde singer – exactly the kind of retro showbiz princess Eloise moonily idolises – who is being forced by her slick-haired manager Jack (Matt Smith) into having sex for money with creepy old men. Gradually, Eloise feels her identity merging with Sandie’s. Is she having a breakdown, or is this nightmare really happening?