First watching Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, I didn’t know whether I was in for a drama, a romantic comedy or a thriller. The movie creates its own genre and the wild ride it took me on was insane.
Some spoilers are ahead, so read at your own risk!
In the era of horror films already being romanticised i.e. Jennifer’s Body and Scream, Last Night In Soho romanticises itself by giving audiences an aesthetic and visually pleasing watch. Yes, the film ultimately becomes a slasher, but the slow burn from it being a coming-of-age story of a girl and then turning into a horror is what makes it great.
The romanticisation of the slasher film
The initial point of the film is a coming-of-age story complete with the trials and tribulations of moving away from home to go to university. Navigating making friends and higher education, the main character, Eloise- played by Thomasin McKenzie, has that classic stereotypical quirkiness that is seen in movies like Lady Bird and The Edge of Seventeen, two movies that follow coming-of-age tropes to a tee.
The film follows on to showcase its stunning cinematography. The infamous scene where Anya Taylor-Joy’s mysterious character Sandie gracefully walks down the staircase to the nightclub in Eloise’s dream state is insanely beautiful to watch. These aesthetics of these scenes romanticise London and the ’60s and shows Eloise’s obsession with the era itself.
The movie takes a sudden turn reshaping into a slasher film. Watching this change of events in the cinema confused, shocked and just overall wowed the audience. The film goes from being a coming of age, romanticisation of the 60s era to a gruelling and gory film.
Combining the tropes of a slasher and a coming of age film made this film great
The only real critique is that the mental health subplot is pushed under the rug. The movie leads you to believe that Eloise is suffering from a mental illness which could be why she is seeing ghosts and dissociating from reality, but it turns out she is just living in a haunted room and seeing visions from the past.
Horror movies don’t often win awards, but the cinematography of this film is enough for it to be nominated. Last Night in Soho is a must-watch for any horror film fanatic, who also loves a good coming of age story. It combines the best components of both genres, while being extremely authentic.=