Quick Synopsis: An aspiring fashion designer tries to uncover the secrets of a lounge singer who comes to her in her sleep in this neon horror/thriller by Edgar Wright.
This film had a lot less Anya Taylor-Joy than I expected it to, I’m just going to lead with that. She is very good in this, but this film does not belong to her. This is all about Thomasin McKenzie (who you’ll probably know from Jo Jo Rabbit), and she knocks it out of the park. This could not have been an easy performance for her to deliver, the emotional range needed is off the charts, and she had to do it all in a Cornish accent, and how did they even explain that accent to someone from New Zealand? Have to say, I never noticed though. I knew I recognised her from somewhere, but I couldn’t place where and I assumed it was some random Channel 4 show. The fact that she is this good, and is only 21 is terrifying and exciting. It’s not just her though, the whole cast as an ensemble is fantastic. This was the last role for Diana Rigg, and that’s a damn shame as she brought something truly special to her character. In another actors hands the role could have been just a typical one, but she elevates it to something at times sweet and also chilling. Matt Smith also brings an energy I didn’t expect he’d be able to do. Being truly reprehensible but also charming.
The film itself? They’ve been pushing the director in all the marketing, and for a good reason. Edgar Wright is known for being a very visually interesting director, and him at the helm of a horror movie is something that will excite everyone. He predictably does a really good job here, and it’s different from what he normally does. There’s none of the “Edgar Wright Cuts” that he puts in films (where ordinary actions have dramatic editing). I feel this may be his best directed though. EVERYTHING comes together visually, the colours, the shapes, the set design, the costumes, the music. It all works together in tandem to create a real feast for the eyes.
On the downside, the pacing is a bit off at times. There are narrative tricks that are repeated a few too many times, especially in the middle section. A lot of his films are close to this length, but this is the first one that you really FEEL that length. I’m going to flat out say that this is probably his worst film. But that really says more about the high quality of his other films. It’s just not as engaging as the others for some reason. I think part of that is the aforementioned pacing and repetition.
In summary, you should watch this, preferably at the cinema as the size and scope of it is something best appreciated on a big screen. You might not want to watch it more than once (I definitely will see it again) but there’s no chance you won’t be impressed by what you see.