Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Eddie Marsan, Douglas Booth, Sam Reid, Daniel Mays, David Bamber
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Release date: 1st Sept 2017
The year is 1880 and our story begins in Victorian London. A man’s dead body is discovered in his bed, by his wife. The young woman is Lizzie Cree (Olivia Cooke) and it’s not long before she is arrested and charged with her husband, John’s murder. While this is going on, there has been a recent string of grisly murders and tensions are running high in the city. The elusive murderer has been given the name, The Limehouse Golem and no-one feels safe. There is a 5 person murder in a house on Ratcliff Highway and the place is a bloodbath. Detective Inspector John Kildare (Bill Nighy) is allocated to the case and alongside his policeman assistant, George Flood (Daniel Mays) they try to work out who could be behind these horrific and sadistic murders. A diary is discovered that holds clues to the identity of the killer and immediately Det Insp Kildare is fired up and ready to go. Lizzie Cree is a star of the music hall and evidence is piling up against her that she killed her husband. Kildare though is convinced of her innocence. Can he save her from the gallows and unmask the real Limehouse Golem or will time beat him before he can solve the mystery?
The Limehouse Golem is based on the popular 1994 novel ‘Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem’, and also known as ‘The Trial of Elizabeth Cree’, by the author Peter Ackroyd. The story is reminiscent of the Jack the Ripper era of London, though that story would happen much later in 1888.
A true Victorian murder mystery, The Limehouse Golem is a schooling in what a great period movie of this subject matter should be. The story is told in part flashback and also sees the killings from the perspectives of all the different suspects. You have no idea who the murderer is, right up until the very end. A real rollercoaster of a movie with unexpected twists and turns all over the place, it keeps your attention from start to finish. Then there’s the *amazing* cast… face after face that you will recognise from various other TV and movie roles. Bill Nighy is perfect in the role of the troubled detective and he takes you on the suspenseful journey with him. Other great actors include the always brilliant Eddie Marsan (a truly versatile and amazing character actor) and another great little treat for me was seeing David Bamber as one of the Barristers in the Courtroom. He’s one of those actors that turns up in some really huge TV shows (Doctor Who, Death in Paradise, The Hollow Crown etc.) I really love seeing him pop up in stuff. Olivia Cooke is fantastic as Lizzie Cree and you never really know what’s going on in her mind even when you see her life in the flashbacks.
A brilliant story which will keep you guessing right up until the last, The Limehouse Golem is definitely one to see if you love mysteries plus a shed load of blood and fairly grim killings. I’ve always been intrigued by the Jack The Ripper mystery and this had echoes of that in it. Chuck in a bit of the ever wonderful Bill Nighy and you have a brilliantly entertaining movie with some serious plot twists. Go see it!