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#TIFF16 Review: The Limehouse Golem


Directed by: Juan Carlos Medina
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Bill NighyDouglas Booth

Maria's Rating -4-01

Looking for a murder mystery set in Victorian London? Are you feeling in the mood for some slummy sideshow vibes? Then look no further than The Limehouse Golem starring Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke & Douglas Booth. This film was dark, slightly gory and full of suspense!

In Victorian-era London, an intrepid police inspector (Bill Nighy) investigates a series of brutal killings that seem to be linked to a fearsome creature of Jewish legend, in this atmospheric thriller based on the bestseller by Peter Ackroyd.

What I Liked

  • The idea of a serial killer on the loose. What? I find serial killers interesting…am I weird? Don’t answer that.
  • Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke and especially Douglas Booth. I had the pleasure of attending a screening of The Limehouse Golem at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and both Nighy and Booth were in attendance! Bill Nighy is one of the funniest people I have ever been in the same room with. He was equally as fantastic as the hardworking detective, John Kildare, throughout The Limehouse Golem. I had seen Olivia Cook previously in Bates Motel and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and I think that she is definitely someone to watch. She was extremely convincing in her role of Lizzie Cree and she shocked me in ways I didn’t think she would. The most surprising performance in my opinion was Douglas Booth’s portrayal of the flamboyant and entertaining Dan Leno. I loved every moment that he was on screen.
  • The idea of seeing the murders played out in the mind of Nighy’s John Kildare. Every time there was a new suspect, John Kildare would image them as the murderer, which really screwed with who I thought was the actual killer. My mind kept changing and it was really interesting to see all of the actors potentially acting as the actual serial killer.
  • The fact that I couldn’t predict the ending. I love making educated guesses, but it’s never fun when I’m right.
  • The inclusion of actual historical figures. Guys, Karl Marx was a suspect.


What I Didn’t Like

  • Even though I didn’t predict the correct ending, I wasn’t really shocked by it. I knew there would be some sort of twist and when it was revealed, it was slightly underwhelming.
  • I’m not sure how I felt about the ending. I would love to read the book to come up with a more concrete decision on how I feel about it. As mentioned, I felt a little underwhelmed, but I wonder if it was just a lack of detail or if it was missing some crucial content from the novel.
  • It felt a little chaotic and repetitive at times.

I am so honoured that I was able to see this film early at the Toronto International Film Festival. It wasn’t even vaguely on my radar before attending the festival and now I have been introduced to yet another novel that I never even knew existed thanks to the film adaptation. I’d love to watch this one again to see if I can pick up on any clues, hints and foreshadowing that led to the conclusion.



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