It’s Victorian London and there’s a serial killer on the loose leaving all sorts of cryptic messages written in the blood of the victims.
In comes inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) with a suspicion that he has been set up to fail.
He must rely on the help of witnesses to crack the case and bring the lunatic to justice.
This nasty little horror ticks all your, ‘Gee I’m-scared-but-boy-they-have-lovely-accents’ type film with a few blood-drenched charms of its own.
Speaking of charming, can we get a round of applause for Bill Nighy as a Scotland Yard Detective?
Bill Nighy trades his cheeky smiles and winks for a straight one eighty performance. A nice move from Nighy.
As bizarre as The Limehouse Golem is, it’s pretty serious stuff.
Nighy holds our hand and takes us on an ethereal walk through the streets and music halls of Victorian London (Don’t worry he’s cool with it)
We explore the pubs, the court chambers, the apartments, and offices of the period. The verisimilitude is bang on, it’s a fully realised world where you feel like you might bump into Sherlock Holmes or have a few brews with David Copperfield.
No drinks for you Sherlock. Get back to work!
Another charming aspect of The Limehouse Golem is the way it blends fact and fiction.
The Golem is fictional, but music-hall star and key suspect Dan Leno (Douglas Booth) is a real historical character, and how many times have you seen Karl Marx cast as a suspect in a penny-dreadful thriller?
That was a rhetorical question.
The whodunnit/murder investigation-ish aspects of The Limehouse Golem are its weakest elements. The murder investigation becomes a little, well, boring and generic.
You may find yourself more interested in the films other major storyline, the life and career of music hall performer, Lizzie (Olivia Cooke), as the use of flashbacks unlocks the secrets of her past.
Look, the murder scenes are probably not grisly enough for us horror fans, and those who like deliberate, cozy murder mysteries may be deterred the graphic displays of gore.
The Limehouse Golum wouldn’t likely pack out a movie theatre but from the view of the living room couch provides an unsettling two hours of atmospheric charm.
Why not? Team with a bowl of ice-cream and you’re set.
– Breana Garratt