CREDIT: Kimberley French/20th Century Studios; Parisa Taghizadeh/Focus Features

Last Night in Soho

Starring: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp, Michael Ajao, Diana Rigg, Rita Tushingham, Synnøve Karlsen

Director: Edgar Wright

Running Time: 116 Minutes

Rating: R for Some Bloody Knife Violence and a Few Moments of Sex and Drugs

Release Date: October 29, 2021 (Theaters)


Starring: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan, Sawyer Jones

Director: Scott Cooper

Running Time: 99 Minutes

Rating: R for Unflinching, Bloody Gruesomeness

Release Date: October 29, 2021 (Theaters)

Last Night in Soho and Antlers are both arriving in theaters on Halloween 2021 Weekend, and I happened to see both on the same day, so I figured I might as well go ahead and review them together. Neither one is your traditional franchise fright flick, though they do share a well-considered approach to presenting their scares, so they’re worth giving a spin at the old multiplex if you happen to be in the right mood.

Both films are about the terrors that accompany uncovering secrets, with Last Night in Soho certainly inviting the detective work. Ellie Turner (Thomasin McKenzie) is a bright-faced fashion student in modern-day London who has a bit of a knack for supernatural sensations. Every night after she falls asleep in her new apartment, she finds herself living within or next to Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), an aspiring singer in Swinging Sixties England who gets herself dangerously mixed up with some smooth operators (who let’s just say, do not have her best interests at heart, to say the least). There are a few longtime SoHo residents in Ellie’s waking life that may hold hints about what really happened to Sandie. I wouldn’t be shocked if some viewers figure out what’s really going on before the resolution clears it all up. But no matter what, director Edgar Wright still has plenty of style to keep you impressed, from nattily suited ghosts to a fiery climax. And if you can somehow resist Taylor-Joy’s sultry rendition of Petula Clark’s “Downtown,” then you’re a much different soul than I.

Antlers is a little more forthcoming with its central mystery. Initially our perspective is a bit obscured, as we see a couple of guys in the woods of Oregon devoured by a beastly something, and we’re left to panic about what this monster could possibly be. But soon enough, it’s abundantly clear that this is a metaphor about how drug addiction is like a supernatural creature, in this case the Wendigo, which prolific First Nations actor Graham Greene informs us is an insatiable flesh-eating spirit that possesses vulnerable people and only grows stronger the more it consumes. This all plays out in the form of grade school teacher Julia (Keri Russell) witnessing how the home life of her student Lucas (Jeremy T. Thomas) has been irreversibly degraded by his father Frank’s addiction/possession. The message is unmistakable, as just about everyone who comes into contact with Frank is plainly ripped apart. But the certainty of both the emotional scars and the baroque violence make it all unforgettable. Once you open it up, Antlers is sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Last Night in Soho is Recommended If You Like: Sixties English pop music, Vibrant pinks

Antlers is Recommended If You Like: The corpse arrangements on NBC’s Hannibal, Local folklore

Last Night in Soho: 3 out of 5 Nightclubs
Antlers: 3.5 out of 5 Wendigos