Linda Cook review: ‘Last Night in Soho’ is quirky horror show

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“Last Night in Soho”

I thought, “There’s no way that title is a reference to the Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich song.”

But that’s exactly what “Last Night in Soho” is.

First, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich were a 1960s English-beat band – one of my favorites and far too little-known. (Wanna hear them play “Last Night in Soho?” Visit here, and you can hear them perform my favorite,“Zabadak” here.)

A horror movie that pays tribute to the 1960s, “Last Night in Soho” is a vision to behold.

Edgar Wright always keeps his stories moving swiftly. “Last Night” has joined my favorite Wright films that include “Baby Driver” and  the incredible documentary “The Sparks Brothers.”

The central character is the shy Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie, “JoJo Rabbit”) who longs to go to fashion school in London. Eloise “sees things” in a mirror, and although these incidents are referenced we’re not exactly sure, at first, what they mean.

It doesn’t take long for Eloise to get crossways with her more worldly roommate.

At first, we’re not sure whether the gorgeous, headstrong Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Witch”) is a dream, a hallucination or a kind of temporary reincarnation. Eloise, who loves all things 1960s, returns at night to watch Sandie make her way through London’s hottest clubs on her quest to become a singer during the swinging ’60s.

To more so emulate the look of her nocturnal focus Sandie, Eloise dyes her hair blond. She becomes ever more consumed by her nightly “visitations.” Bit by bit, she begins to unravel. While we watch Sandie’s life transition, we also watch Eloise head for a melt-down.

This is a horror movie that challenges its audience. In fact, I couldn’t figure out its era for quite some time, especially after I saw Eloise wear what appears to be a contemporary set of headphones in an other retro-looking London.

Its conclusion is bizarre but in keeping with the tone of this film that includes themes about hauntings and mental illness. The finale reminds me of another 2021 horror movie “Malignant,” whose ending is even more bonkers.

The soundtrack, which includes some of my favorite 1960s tunes, makes this a must-see for ’60s aficionados and Wright fans alike.

4 stars

Rated: R for foul language, sexual situations and bloody violence.

Running time: Not quite two hours.

In theaters. Watch the trailer here.

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