Not so much creepy or jolting, but gory and often overwhelming
The Limehouse Golem manages to hold together a very winding and seemingly confusing plot. For the most part, it is clear to follow despite many similar characters with long monologues and the use of 1800’s dialect. It’s a credit to both the cast and the director that they have produced a picture of great quality when something too complicated to follow was much more likely to come bursting onto the screen.
In a similar vein to Sleepy Hollow, The Limehouse Golem has a Tim Burton-esque style to its horror. Not so much creepy or jolting, but gory and often overwhelming. It is a very weird and alarming film, but this works for it, coming across as intriguing in the moments when it isn’t brutally murderous.
The story itself is starkly original, with Bill Nighy leading the way with his surprisingly cautious Inspector John Kildare. He is tasked with discovering the identity of a serial killer terrorising London known as The Limehouse Golem. Narrowing it down to 4 suspects, Kildare must devour the city to bring light upon the harrowing killer.
The film is deeply unsettling, and Nighy manages to bring some stability during the tougher more intense moments. Elsewhere there are powerful supporting performances from Olivia Cooke and Douglas Booth adding to the mystery and outright unnerving nature of the film. In fact, the whole cast is mesmerising as the genuine mystery unfolds in its long, sometimes convoluted way.
The Limehouse Golem is viciously gory as it tracks down its murderer. Often confusing but always followable, the film is wickedly clever and startlingly surprising. This is a marvelous example of a British film created well with conviction and elegance, despite all of the blood.