Edgar Wrights Last Night in Soho is a unique and compelling horror movie, but there are many classic movies that helped influence Wrights vision.
Edgar Wrights latest movie, Last Night in Soho, is a departure for the director. Instead of his usual fast-paced comedies like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Wright told a more serious psychological thriller. However, much like those previous movies, Wright balances his own unique style with past cinematic influences.
Seeing this new direction Wright went in for Last Night in Soho, it is interesting to see where he drew inspiration from. The list of movies that clearly helped with Wrights vision includes some well-known classics and many hidden gems fans can discover.
Many have pointed out that Last Night in Soho is Wrights take on the “Giallo” movie genre. This refers to Italian-made horror movies that often had a mystery element combined with slasher or supernatural elements. One of the most acclaimed movies in this genre is Dario Argentos Suspiria.
The movie follows a young American girl accepted to a prestigious German dance academy only to realize there is something sinister at work in the school. Along with the vibrant look the genre is known for, the main characters in Suspiria and Last Night in Soho share similarities in their journeys.
note: Dune 2021 Deutsch Stream
9.Beat Girl (1960)
When speaking to Indiewire about the various influences on the movie, Wright singled out Beat Girl as a favorite of his. The movie follows a young girl who seeks to destroy her fathers marriage to his new wife by any means.
While the premise might not sound overly similar to Last Night in Soho, it was the various settings of jazz clubs and the nightlife world of the movie that he drew on. The movie also features a number of notable British stars like Christopher Lee and Oliver Reed.
8.Peeping Tom (1960)
The controversial and ground-breaking horror movie Peeping Tom was another notable inclusion on Wrights inspiration. According to his interview with Indiewire, the Soho set story used the kind of vibrant colors he would use in his story to tell a violent and creepy tale in this location.
The movies plot follows a lonely photographer who has an obsession with photographing women at the moment of their death. Though more than half a century old, Peeping Tom can be seen to share similar themes of the exploitation of women as seen in Wrights movie.
7.The Innocents (1961)
Deborah Kerr by a door with a man outside in The Innocents.
Though Last Night in Soho starts out as a fantastical and intoxicating trip back in time, it eventually reveals itself to be a haunting ghost story. While such stories have been told many times, Wright told Indiewire that The Innocents is one of the most influential movies of this subgenre.
The story follows a young governess who comes to believe the grounds of the home she works at are haunted. The Innocents is the kind of movie whose influence can be seen in many popular movies without audiences really knowing where the images originated from.
6.Dont Look Now (1973)
Donald Sutherland holding a dead body and screaming in Dont Look Now.
Wright has often spoken about his love of Dont Look Now and it seems as though hes now gotten the chance to work it into his own filmmaking. The obscure 1970s horror movie stars Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie as a couple grieving who become haunted by images of the child they lost.
As Last Night in Soho continues, the haunting images Ellie keeps seeing grow more and more inescapable. It is that growing sense of doom and the surrounding dread that is seen in Dont Look Now.
5.Deep Red (1975)
Dario Argento 1975 Deep Red Boy
When speaking to Rue Morgue about Last Night in Soho, Wright further emphasized the influence of the Giallo genre and his own love of it. He pointed out that, while Suspiria is understandably seen as one of the best, he considered Deep Red to be the genres best.
Another classic from Dario Argento, Deep Red tells the story of a jazz musician and a journalist who find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery involving a dead psychic.
4.A Taste Of Honey (1961)
Jo looking surprised in A Taste of Honey
Last Night in Soho deals with a lot of heavy subject matter and things that feel quite timely. However, Wright also took inspiration from the movie A Taste of Honey that was dealing with a number of progressive ideas long ahead of its time.
The movie follows a shy young woman who becomes pregnant following a one-night stand and is left to fend for herself. Wright told Indiewire that Rita Tushinghams performance in the lead role led to him casting her as Ellies grandmother in his movie.
3.That Kind Of Girl (1963)
Eva smiles at a man while driving a car in That Kind of Girl
The story of the cruel and dangerous world the girls experience in Last Night in Soho makes for a very compelling journey. The character of Sandie finds her own bravery to stand up for herself in a world controlled by men who only see her as an object.
In an interesting way, Wright was influenced by a movie made during the era of Sandies story that tells a less progressive version of that kind of story. That Kind of Girl follows a young woman who finds herself torn between the affections of three separate suitors. It is interesting how Wright took this moral tale of the dangers of more free-spirited women and told a story that is very much the opposite.
2.West End Jungle (1961)
People walking on the London sidewalk in West End Jungle
It might be surprising to learn a documentary helped to inspire Wrights supernatural horror movie. However, Wright admits to Indiewire that West End Jungle is a mostly faked documentary with many aspects staged for filming.
The movie explores the prostitution industry in London in the 1960s, exploring the hard lives of the workers and the dangers faced by the clients. Though its sensationalized view is flawed, its not hard to see the various aspects of the movie Wright drew from for Last Night in Soho.
Carol walking down the hall in Repulsion.
Wright has discussed his love of Repulsion as one of his favorite horror movies of all time and confirms it was the main inspiration for Last Night in Soho. The movie was Roman Polanskis first American movie and tells the story of a young woman repulsed by sex who is haunted by disturbing images.
As Ellies journey in Last Night in Soho continues and she is haunted by images wherever she goes, the influence of Repulsion can be seen so clearly. It is the perfect example of how Wright is able to take elements from the movies he loves and reimagine them with his own unique vision.