Review: The Limehouse Golem is a macabre mystery that will please fans of the genre
- Credit: Archant
Adapted from the 1994 novel by British author Peter Ackroyd, The Limehouse Golem stars Bill Nighy as a seasoned detective sent to investigate a series of grisly murders in Victorian London.
The film tells the tale of Inspector Kildare (Nighy) dispatched by Scotland Yard to solve the case of the “Limehouse Golem” a string of gruesome killings named after a mythical creature.
Assigned to the case ahead of more high profile detectives, Kildare is offered up as a scapegoat to the press as public outrage builds.
However, he has no intention of being anyone’s fall guy and enlists Daniel Mays’ savy officer George Flood to assist him.
When the investigation brings them into contact with Olivia Cooke as widow Lizzie Cree, things become more complicated.
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On trial for poisoning her husband, who is a prime suspect in the case, the detectives find their quest to find the mysterious Golum is delicately intertwined with the woman’s trial.
Interestingly, the story also includes real life characters from the period, such as Dan Leno, Karl Marx and George Gissing, all of whom are suspects in the case.
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As the mystery unfolds, director Juan Carlos Medina cleverly intersperses the main timeline with flashbacks from the Cree case and darkly gothic dream sequences of the murders designed to throw the audience off the scent.
Cooke is excellent as the pivotal Lizzie Cree and Nighy shines in this rare serious role, a parts originally intended for the late Alan Rickman.
And adding weight to the cast is the always excellent Eddie Marsan who takes on the role of the creepy Uncle.
Despite the attempts at misdirection, the final reveal is slightly telegraphed but delivered with enough aplomb to make for a satisfying finale.
A well acted and well made gothic horror story, The Limehouse Gollum delivers an intriguing and macarbre mystery that will please fans of the genre.