7/10 Writer/director Edgar Wright is known for his comedic films (“Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz”) but took his first stab at drama with “Baby Driver”, which I also gave a 7/10 to. Four years later he returns with “Last Night in Soho”, where he completely ditches all comedic aspects (“Baby Driver” had comic relief) for a full on psychological horror film. While I did enjoy his comedic “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy”, as Wright grows older and his film making sensibilities mature, I have wanted to see him try his hand at more serious fare. Luckily, he delivers a well-directed, expertly acted, beautiful looking film that largely sets out what it intends to do. Co-leads Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy are mesmerizing and McKenzie specifically is given her largest role yet to truly shine. The rest of the cast does their job well (although Matt Smith’s role is somewhat one note due to the script) but it is our leading ladies who steal the show. Much of the film flashes back to the 1960s and the production design and cinematography/lighting are incredible, making this easily Wright’s best looking film. The pacing works well as you will be fully in the world Wright has created for the audience over its two hour running time. The swingin’ 60s soundtrack has some great songs and fantastic covers while Steven Price provides an era appropriate score. The story is rather simple but intriguing as the mystery slowly unravels as Wright along with co-screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns don’t spoil any reveals too early. McKenzie’s character, Eloise, is going to school for fashion so the costume design in present day with all of the fashion school scenes paired with the 1960s flashbacks gives this film easily one of the best costume designs of 2021 that should get an Oscar nomination. As for what didn’t work, Wright openly admitted that he was influenced by Roman Polanski’s first English language 1965 film, “Repulsion”. He borrows a little bit too much for my tastes, down to the hands/arms coming out of the walls/floor to grab at Eloise. Near the end, there are some rather predictable moments that you could easily see coming. While a good film, the plot being similar to other horror films will make the story a rather forgettable one in the long run, despite the performances and look of the film being memorable. It will be interesting to see if this holds up upon repeated viewings since the mystery will no longer remain, but even if you check this out once, you will get some enjoyment out of it. The story may not break any new ground as the shadow of “Repulsion” looms large over the film and Smith’s villain character is completely underdeveloped but Wright’s best looking and sounding film has some terrific performances and Oscar worthy production and costume design, making this a fun, trippy film going experience.

#EyeSandie / #TheTeensGambit / #DoctorSubdue / #HerHouse / #TrueHistoryOfTheEllieGang / #LadyAndTheStamp

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