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Blu-ray Review: Last Night in Soho

January 19, 2022

By John Corrado

Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, which is being released on Blu-ray this week, finds the British filmmaker, who is best known for his genre mashups, playing around in the sandbox of psychological thriller.

The film follows Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), an aspiring fashion designer who is obsessed with the culture of the 1960s. She finds her dreams coming true when she starts being transported back to London in the 1960s, becoming entangled with an aspiring singer named Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy). But all is not as it seems.

Wright uses this premise to explore the dark side of nostalgia, crafting an ultra-stylish, neon-soaked tribute to Giallo films and London in the Swinging Sixties. The film proved to be somewhat divisive with viewers, especially the sinister turns that it takes in the second half. But I actually enjoyed the slightly off the rails, funhouse ride feel of the last act, as Wright and his co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns allow the story’s elements of murder mystery and ghost story to collide in a visceral way.

I greatly enjoyed Last Night in Soho. It’s a film that hit all the right buttons for me, from the excellent dual performances of McKenzie and Taylor-Joy, to Chung-hoon Chung’s hypnotizing cinematography, and the truly impressive production and costume design elements. The film didn’t bring in enough of an audience in theatres, with disappointing box office returns that can partially be blamed on the ongoing pandemic, but it’s one that deserves to find a second life on Blu-ray.

For more on the film itself, you can read my original review from TIFF right here.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray):

The Blu-ray comes packed with over ninety minutes of bonus material, including five very substantial featurettes, deleted scenes, and various other goodies. A regular DVD and code for a digital copy are also included in the package, which ships with a sleek black slipcover.

Meet Eloise (10 minutes, 5 seconds): Wright, Wilson-Cairns and McKenzie discuss the character of Eloise, and the performance given by the young New Zealand actress who, like the character, was 18 at the time of filming.

Dreaming of Sandie (9 minutes, 5 seconds): Like the previous featurette, this one offers a deeper look at the character of Sandie. Wright discusses how he initially thought of casting Taylor-Joy as Eloise before realizing she was perfect for this role, as well as the choice to have her sing that haunting cover of “Downtown.”

Smoke and Mirrors (12 minutes, 36 seconds): Wright and members of the crew break down the film’s extensive use of makeup, special effects and clever camera moves, exploring how they did the mirror shots using double sets, and how they pulled off that incredible switcheroo dance scene entirely in-camera through carefully orchestrated choreography. The “witness cam” footage of the dance scene from above is referenced, which is included in full as its own bonus feature.

On the Streets of Soho (8 minutes, 36 seconds): A look at the importance of shooting on-location in Soho, and how the production design team recreated the look of the 1960s.

Time Travelling (10 minutes, 45 seconds): A deeper look at recreating the look and feel of the 1960s, through the song choices, costumes and sets. Wright talks about balancing his own nostalgia for the decade with the acknowledgement that it wasn’t all good.

Deleted Scenes (9 minutes, 16 seconds)

Ellie Gets Conned (1 minute, 4 seconds)

Hidden Nightmares (1 minute, 3 seconds)

The Bridge (2 minutes, 22 seconds)

Alleys and Shadows (3 minutes, 28 seconds)

You Know Where to Find Me (47 seconds)

Extended Chase (30 seconds)

Animatics (13 minutes, 6 seconds)

First Dream (7 minutes)

Shadow Men (1 minute, 40 seconds)

Murder (3 minutes, 11 seconds)

Final Confrontation (1 minute, 12 seconds)

Hair & Makeup Tests (7 minutes, 26 seconds)

Lighting & VFX Tests (6 minutes, 20 seconds)

Wide Angle Witness Cam (1 minute, 54 seconds)

Acton Town Hall Steadicam Rehearsal (1 minute, 24 seconds)

Steadicam Alternative Take (1 minute, 45 seconds)

“Downtown” Music Video (5 minutes, 27 seconds)

Trailers (4 minutes, 48 seconds)

Domestic Trailer 1 (2 minutes, 13 seconds)

International Trailer (2 minutes, 29 seconds)

Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Edgar Wright, Editor Paul Machliss and Composer Steve Price

Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Edgar Wright and Co-Writer Krysty Wilson Cairns

Last Night in Soho is a Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 117 minutes and rated PG.

Street Date: January 18th, 2022

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