Edgar Wright’s latest film is a colorful, lavish horror film that is as indulgent as it is fresh.
Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) follows her dream to move to the Soho neighborhood in London so she can study fashion. Dressed in clothes of her own making, she finds that she doesn’t fit in with her schoolmates and the dorm style of living just isn’t for her. She finds a new place to live, away from judgement roommate who only mocks her every move, where she can have some peace and quiet. As she sleeps, she dreams of Sandy (Anya Taylor Joy) who lived in Soho in the 1960s.
Sandy moved to Soho to be a performer. She gets noticed by Jack (Matt Smith) who convinces her to take a job as a backup singer and dancer. Soon, he starts prostituting her out to men. She isn’t willing at first, but is soon drawn into a world of sex, violence, and depression.
Eloise, after her first couple of dreams, is inspired by the beautiful woman who visits in her sleep. Soon, though, she starts seeing the tragedy that had become Sandy’s life. While Eloise starts to succeed in school, her classmates become vicious in their envy. Eloise begins to struggle mentally as she starts seeing the ghosts of the men who Sandy slept with back in the 1960s.
Questioning her inspiration, Eloise starts investigating what really happened to Sandy. Was she murdered? Did she just disappear? In her search for answers, she only finds more questions, especially when we find out that Eloise is able to see and communicate with the dead.
This film is truly a wonder. Visually, it keeps your eye entertained with color, lighting, fashion, and some spectacular cinematography. The soundtrack isn’t bad either, in fact, it’s brilliant. What really sells it, though, is the stars. Anya Taylor Joy and Thomasin McKenzie have so much charisma on screen that you can’t look away. They are so very convincing in their roles that you root for them every second they are on screen. To put it bluntly, you can’t look away for even a moment for you might miss one of Anya’s intentionally coy looks or Thomasin’s fragility.
It really doesn’t delve into horror territory until the third act which I won’t ruin for you, but the first and second acts are so brilliant, that I didn’t even care that it forgets to be a horror film until late in the game. Easily one of my favorite films of 2021.