The Limehouse Golem (2016)

Before The Ripper, another serial killer terrorized London, so much so that people believed the killer could not be human but a being called a golem. As the police looks for the killer, a woman finds herself embroiled with the situation.

Based on the novel by Peter Ackroyd, written by Jane Goldman, and directed by Juan Carlos Medina, The Limehouse Golem is dark tale of murder, jealousy, and need for recognition. The story weaves these together in an engrossing way, captivating the viewer. The way the story is directed and brought to the screen gives it class and an atmosphere that is palpable. The film has a particular feeling from the get-go and it keeps it up all throughout while also adding a bit of suspense and dread to scenes when it is needed and letting the story tell itself in images at times, something that adds a lot of interest to the story and its characters.

The cast for The Limehouse Golem does great work. Olivia Cooke as Lizzie Cree does fantastic work, passing as much emotions through her facial expression as through her words and tears. Her performance is the central piece of the film and she gives it her all with success. Playing John Kildare, the man tasked with finding the serial killer central the story is Bill Nighy who gives a performance that is almost usual for him, meaning he is killing it, giving a strong performance that could easily be central to the film and could easily steal the rest of the cast’s thunder. Thankfully for Olivia Cooke, she holds her own and so does the other leads. Worth a special mention each are Eddie Marsan as Uncle and Douglas Booth as Dan Leno who both give great performances in supporting roles with Booth leaving a lasting impression.

The Limehouse Golem has a darkly lush look with lots going on in each scene. The way it is shot by cinematographer Simon Dennis makes it looks like it should be seen on the big screen. It has so much going on that the bigger the screen, the better the chance to see it all. Each scene is framed carefully and shows what needs to be shown, but also a lot more behind everything. From the production design by Grant Montgomery, to the art direction by Nick Wilkinson and Frederic Evard, to the costume designs by Claire Anderson, to the set decoration by Pilar Foy, the entirety of the film looks stunning and has that dark sense to everything it shows. This creates complex images that are layered with the right touches in décor, costumes, etc. The film looks absolutely stunning and will tickle the fancy of old gothic films fans and even some Hammer horror fans.

The Limehouse Golem is a slow burn type of film with a mystery that keeps the viewer engaged. The performances are fantastic and the look of the film is flat out amazing. It’s one of those films where the attention to details was huge and spread to all departments. It should be seen on as big a screen as can be with the color balance perfect to fully enjoy is darkly lush layers and the cast’s acting in all its glory.