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SOHO SQUARE (director/writer: Jamie Rafn; cinematographer: Brendan McGinty; editors: Jamie Rafn/Sam Eastall; music: Chris Read; cast: Livy Armstrong (Trump), Anthony Biggs (J.), Lucy Davenport (Julia), Helen Day (Aunty Bel), Olegar Fedoro (S.M.), Emma Poole (Claire), Amanda Haberland (Barmaid), William Wilde (Callaway), Sasha Lowenthal (Claudia), Pamela Mandell (Mum); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Imogen Cooper/Jamie Rafn; Sundance Channel; 2000-UK)
“First-time director Jamie Rafn made it for supposedly $7,000, which is the film’s greatest accomplishment.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A muddled artsy-fartsy serial killer flick set in London’s Soho district that is well-acted and shot (considering it was shot on the cheap on a mini-DV). First-time director Jamie Rafn made it for supposedly $7,000, which is the film’s greatest accomplishment–it, nevertheless, looks like a million dollar film, with a few visual and sound flaws (some conversations were muffled and hard to discern).

A confused detective (Anthony Biggs) is haunted from the past by demons and exhibits a drinking problem while on a case with his kindly older partner (William Wilde) of chasing down a sicko who is murdering women and setting them on fire (not necessarily in that order) in central London. After meeting Julie (Lucy Davenport), an attractive blonde bartender in a Soho club who reminds him of his deceased wife (Amanda Haberland), the detective receives vibes that he can catch the psychopath by staying near her.

In the middle of the investigation the young detective gets thrown into the lives of his building residents, a cloying single mother (Emma Poole) and her forward little girl, Claudia (Sasha Lowenthal), who both vie for the vulnerable detective’s attention.

The thriller offers a new variation on the serial killer genre for the nontraditional minded, as it’s filled throughout with ellipses, jump cuts, a dissonant score and flashbacks. I found it bleak and confusing, and got turned off trying to follow the meandering story but can appreciate the technical feat; especially, knowing it was completed on a Mac editing system.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”