Based on Peter Ackroyd's novel, Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, this most English of crime thrillers has been brought to the screen by Juan Carlos Medina, best known for his eerie 2012 fantasy horror film, Painless. Here, Medina puts a suitably chilling veneer, replete with Dickensian fog and atmospherics, on a tale filled with murder and mayhem.
In the notorious Limehouse district of 19th century London, a series of murders shake the city. The crimes are so monstrous the press claim they’re the work of ‘The Golem’ – a mythic creature from European legend. With no leads and in a desperate attempt to avoid the mob’s wrath, Scotland Yard promotes the seemingly inexperienced Detective Kildare (Bill Nighy) to stop the slaughtering.
With the spirits of both Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper hovering over the proceedings, filmmaker Juan Carlos Medina rubs our noses in the murk of a London that has itself been a character in many a murder mystery — a tradition to which this film is a welcome addition.