Film (Re)View – The Limehouse Golem

Wow, what a movie! Set against the backdrop of the great Music Hall in the Limehouse area of Victorian London, this tale sees Inspector Kildare (Nighy) thrust into his first ever murder case – to catch the notorious and bloodthirsty Limehouse Golem, a serial killer who likes to leave cryptic messages in a unique hand in his victim’s blood.

Running alongside this is the death of failed playwright John Cree, whose wife, Elizabeth (Cooke), is charged with his murder. Kildare is brought into this case too as the clues all seem to point to Cree as the Golem and he is soon bewitched by the vulnerability of the life damaged Elizabeth.

The movie doesn’t hold anything back in its grim portrayal of the murder scenes. Whilst in many movies, such techniques are grotesquely out of place and poorly done, I did not find this here. For me, it felt that you HAD to see the crime scene for you to get inside the mind of this killer.

The scenes in the theatre were excellent, with Jan Leno (Booth) a fabulous orator, comedian and friend to Elizabeth.

The movie keeps you guessing as to who the culprit is and whilst I had my suspicions that it would not be who Kildare thought, the truth was a twist I didn’t see (which is good). The angst that Kildare suffers at the end of the film is brilliant and, although I really thought he would make a different decision, based on his character during the rest of the movie, the path he chose seemed warranted and of benefit to deserving persons.

The was an excellently made horror movie with a balanced viewpoint, despite the gore. Not once did I think ‘that was unnecessary’ and that, believe me, says a hell of a lot for this film.


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