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Levy Must-Sees: The Limehouse Golem

Dana Levy (31/08/2017)

A detective in Victorian London must solve a serial murder case in order to rescue a young woman and pacify a city verging its breaking point, featuring the incredible Bill Nighy

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Dana Levy is a British-Israeli film critic based in London

‘The Limehouse Golem’ is a stylish thriller set in Victorian London in 1880.

The story begins in an ornate baroque style music hall where Dan Leno (Douglas Booth, best known for ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and ‘The Riot Club’) begins his monologue, telling the audience of the horrible fate of a young woman who used to feature on the very same stage. He talks about his friend Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Cree (Olivia Cooke, from the TV series ‘Bates Motel’ and ‘Me, Earl & the dying girl’).

Lizzie is facing death by hanging after being accused of murdering her husband John Cree (Sam Reid, from ‘Belle’ and ‘71’). It seems inevitable that she will be sent to the gallows until Detective Inspector John Kildare (Bill Nighy, best known from ‘Love Actually’ and recently starred in ‘Their Finest’) is assigned to solve the case of the Limehouse Golem – a serial killer terrorising Londoners. The Golem is particularly terrifying because his innocent victims have no connection to one another and he leaves their corpses almost unidentifiable, complete with his trademark signature in blood.

This case seems almost impossible to solve and Kildare feels he has been set up as an expendable scapegoat for Scotland Yard should the killer get away. A determined Kildare sees John Cree as the prime suspect and if he can prove it he will have solved The Limehouse Golem case and saved Lizzie’s life.

The Limehouse Golem initially seems like your typical murder mystery flick but draws you in with its over the top theatrical magic. You instantly feel like you are part of the audience in the music hall. The story unfolds in a dramatic and very stylish manner with flashbacks delving into the back-stories of the strong characters, each of who have an interesting story or secret that eventually intertwines into the main storyline.

Olivia Cooke is superb as Lizzie and is captivating in her innocence – she is reminiscent of Audrey Tautou’s character in the eponymous ‘Amelie’. Bill Nighy’s performance is fantastic and convincing as always. His character was initially intended for the late Alan Rickman, who pulled out due to ill health. Eddie Marsan, who plays ‘Uncle’, the creepy owner of the music hall, also excels in his role.

The Limehouse Golem is a little gory in some scenes, but executed in a more surreal, fantastic Victorian horror film style, so it is not overbearing for more squeamish viewers. If you like Dickensian style period dramas and thrillers, this one is for you.

MOVIE TITLE: The Limehouse Golem
CAST: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Eddie Marsan, Maria Valverde, Sam Reid, Daniel Mays
DIRECTOR: Juan Carlos Medina
UK RELEASE DATE: 1st September 2017


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