If you missed it in theaters one of the better mystery thrillers, The Limehouse Golem, has arrived on Blu-ray/DVD. It’s a twisted tale of murder and mayhem that you won’t want to miss. It plays out like a Sherlock Holmes whodunit with twists and turns that keep you on your toes. Let the guessing game begin, which one is the slasher, basher, stabber and thrasher.
The story begins at the home of John Cree (Sam Reid) where his body has just been found. Constable George Flood (Daniel Mays) is on the scene looking through evidence and questioning his wife Lizzie Cree (Olivia Cooke) and the maid Aveline (Maria Valverde). Arriving at the crime scene, one of the brightest and oldest detectives Inspector John Kildare (Bill Nighy) takes over the case.
Realizing that this murder has happened close to recent mysterious deaths that have been attributed to a monster called the Limehouse Golem, Kildare starts to work on the case from that angle. Needing an assistant he chooses Constable Flood and the two dig into the evidence which leads them to three possible suspects, the star performer at “The Music Palace” Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), a noted writer George Gissing (Morgan Watkins) and philosopher Karl Marx (Henry Goodman).
With his reputation on the line and a tough road to solving the murders in Limehouse, Kildare starts his quest to bring down the Golem. Director Juan Carlos Medina sends his audience back to the beginning. He starts with nine year old Lizzie (Amelia Crouch), where through her eyes we see the plot grow. Roaming the streets as a meager street urchin, she gets a break with a chance meeting of Uncle (Eddie Marsan) the manager of The Music Palace. From that point we start our way through twists and turns as Detective Kildare follows leads from what he’s learned about Lizzie and his suspects past.
The movie is a fun ride that moves along at a fast pace building the story in the London suburb. Using interesting sets, light
ing, scenery, costumes and make-up we are whisked through a decade showing the intertwining of characters. Each gets a chance to try and convince you that it was he who committed the heinous crimes. You be the inspector and sit back as the cameras peer into one of the most exciting mystery thrillers I’ve seen in years.
Olivia Cooke does an amazing job of depicting the young woman accused of her husband’s murder that sets off the wild goose chase. She’s vivacious as the new star of the burlesque at The Music Palace and a target for the men who lust over her. Stuck for money and a wanting for a better life she leads them on while mooning over a local writer John Cree. Most TV fans know Cooke for her role as Emma Decody the teen who has to drag around her breathing tank in 49 episodes of “Bates Motel”. I am charmed by her performance here and hope to see her in future projects.
Giving a very bold performance as Detective Kildare, Bill Nighy brings back the London of the misty 1800 when Sherlock Holmes roamed the city tracking down murderers. He nails his character prodding through evidence and just when he thinks he has his man in his grasp, finds out he has to look elsewhere. Setting up the puzzle he leads you through the guessing game till the very end.
BONUS EXTRAS on Blu-ray and DVD:
“Behind the Scenes Featurettes” Includes about the cast, look and locations.
“Making of The Limehouse Golem”
The Limehouse Golem has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains extreme violence, gore, language, nudity, implied rape and cruelty. Not for the squeamish, easily frightened or immature teens.
Editor’s Note: In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created entirely from inanimate matter (specifically clay or mud). The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golem
FINAL ANALYSIS: One of the better murder mysteries I’ve seen. (3.5 out of 5)
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Daniel Mays, Sam Reid, Maria Valverde, Henry Goodman, Paul Ritter, Morgan Watkins, Peter Sullivan, Eddie Marsan, Graham Hughes, Henry Goodman, Morgan Watkins.
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr. 49 min.
Video Release Date: November 7, 2017
Original Theatrical Release Date: September 8, 2017
Reviewed Format: DVD (also available in Blu-ray)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: RLJ Entertainment
The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.