THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM

Giallo and be­hold…

Total Film - - Big Screen -

OUT 1 SEPTEM­BER

A

Vic­to­rian hor­ror movie about mur­der, Karl Marx, fe­male em­pow­er­ment and the theatre of pain? It’s a mir­a­cle Pe­ter Ack­royd’s 1994 novel Dan Leno And The Limehouse Golem ever made it to screens, let alone that it only took 23 years. Thank good­ness it did, though, be­cause this camp, shock­ing and sur­real del­i­cacy is one of the finest – if odd­est – genre films of the year.

Blend­ing myth and real-life his­tor­i­cal fig­ures (such as Marx, show­man Dan Leno and nov­el­ist Ge­orge Giss­ing), it sees a Jack the Rip­per-type killer ter­ror­is­ing 1800s Lon­don. The ac­tion flits from the court­room where El­iz­a­beth Cree (Olivia Cooke) stands ac­cused of poi­son­ing her hus­band, to the cob­bles of Tower Ham­lets, where In­spec­tor John Kil­dare (Bill Nighy) hunts the ‘Limehouse Golem Killer’. But are they con­nected? This strange brew of mys­tery and his­tory is ably fer­mented by screen­writer Jane Gold­man (The Woman In Black) and di­rec­tor Juan Car­los Me­d­ina (Pain­less), whose grip on the quirky char­ac­ters is firmer than on the stut­ter­ing mys­tery. With Cooke a rev­e­la­tion, and Nighy an en­gag­ing in­spec­tor, this is a rip­per of a yarn. Josh Win­ning

THE VER­DICT

Weird, twisted and de­li­ciously unique, Me­d­ina’s hor­ror taps a dy­namic vein in fem­i­nism and Giallo-es­que gore.

Bill Nighy’s on lugubri­ous form as a 19th Cen­tury de­tec­tive.

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