THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM
Giallo and behold…
OUT 1 SEPTEMBER
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
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.