The Limehouse Golem
Directed by Juan Carlos Medina
HOME, 7 September 2017
This one is a shilling shocker, and good value at twice the price.
In return for your hard-earned silver, you get lurid murder in Victorian London, with Bill Nighy as an intrepid Scotland Yard inspector on the hunt for a serial killer going by the name of the Limehouse Golem. That’s out on the streets. Inside, in the music halls and in the reading room of the British Museum, there is a lot of malice and intrigue going on as well. Everywhere, there are dingy shadows and gaudy colours, characters gross and grotesque, as worlds respectable and desperate collide.
Incidentally, it is curious to see Karl Marx, a suspect here, pulling the ‘Is it because I is Jewish?’ act: he was one of the great Jewish anti-Semites, someone who in his writings often equated Jews with capitalism. See the relevant chapter in David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism.
The film is based on Peter Ackroyd’s novel, quite a tedious read as I remember it, unlike his earlier Hawksmoor, which is brilliant. It is an entertaining watch which, despite a prodigious spurting of blood, shouldn’t be taken too seriously.