Set on the unforgiving, squalid streets of Victorian London in 1880, our tale begins in the baroque, grandiose music hall where the capital’s most renowned performer Dan Leno (Douglas Booth) takes to the stage.
The whimsical thespian performs a monologue, informing his dedicated audience of the ghastly fate of a young woman who had once adorned this very stage, his dear friend Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke); for the beguiling songstress is facing up to her forthcoming death by hanging, having been accused of murdering her husband John Cree (Sam Reid).
Lizzie’s death seems inevitable, until Detective Inspector John Kildare (Bill Nighy) is assigned to the case of the Limehouse Golem – a nefarious, calculating serial killer, murdering innocent, unconnected victims, leaving behind barely identifiable corpses – and his distinctive signature in blood.
Juan Carlos Medina’s (Painless) lurid, violent British horror-thriller is adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) from a 1994 murder mystery novel by Peter Ackroyd.
Vividly shot – in particular the Golem’s macabre crime scenes – and lit up further by Goldman’s urgent, witty script and the cast’s uniformly terrific performances, it’s both a refreshingly feminist take on a classic genre and an immensely satisfying watch.
Mark Kermode’s Film of the week 3 September 2017.
READ his review.
Peter Bradshaw 4/5 stars The Guardian
READ his review
“A glorious feminist twist
on Jack the Ripper”
Patrick Smith, The Telegraph