HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
Oscar, The
Color Out of Space
Last Holiday
Zombieland: Double Tap
Mind Benders, The
Mighty Wind, A
   
 
Newest Articles
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
   
 
  From Hell Under The Knife
Year: 2001
Director: Allen Hughes, Albert Hughes
Stars: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane, Ian Richardson, Jason Flemyng, Katrin Cartlidge, Lesley Sharp, Terence Harvey, Susan Lynch, Paul Rhys, Estelle Skornik, Ian McNeice
Genre: Horror, Thriller, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 5 votes)
Review: In Victorian London, a vicious killer of prostitutes stalks the streets of Whitechapel, a man who has come to be known as Jack the Ripper. Inspector Abberline (Johnny Depp) makes it his mission to track down the murderer and finds himself personally involved in crimes that reach every level of society...

From Hell, yet another version of the Jack the Ripper story, was adapted by Terry Hayes and Rafael Yglesias, who turn Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's epic comic book into a whodunnit. It presents the case as a grand conspiracy that takes in the Police, the Freemasons, Royalty, the medical establishment and the persecution of the Jews.

In tackling Moore's densely packed narrative, the film tries to cram in as much of the comic's detail as possible, not always to great effect. Although the scale of the conspiracy is well handled, the story feels cluttered as just about every fact of the case (and a few myths as well) are included. The Hughes brothers revel in the Victorian hypocrisy, and the film is very definitely on the side of the underclass, with the victims all fitting the traditional "tart with a heart" stereotype.

Abberline himself is an opium-addicted and absinthe-drinking psychic, whose visions supposedly help him gain insight into the case, but seem to largely comprise of edited highlights of the murders. The film is uncertain whether it should be grim and gritty or glossy and stylish, meaning you're more likely to be taken in by Peter Deming's elegant camerawork and the production design than shocked by the degradation on display. In fact, the atmosphere is more druggy than dreamlike, which implies the action is taking place in Abberline's head.

Whenever an actor takes on a different accent, the results can be jarring: Heather Graham, as a bottle-redhaired Mary Kelly, isn't quite as bad as you might think (though not particularly Irish, it has to be said), but Depp's attempt at cockney makes him sound like David Beckham. The rest of the cast are well chosen, particularly Ian Holm as the surgeon who assists Abberline in tracking down the killer.

I don't know whether there has ever been a really great Jack the Ripper movie, but there's no denying the continuing fascination with the murders. From Hell presents a solution to the case that mixes fiction with fact because the truth is we will never know why those women were killed, which not only gives the case its power but allows plenty of room for speculation, however fanciful it may be. It's a pity the book's last chapter was omitted, which shows the spirit of the Ripper travelling through time, emphasising the claim that he "gave birth to the 20th Century". Watch for: the Elephant Man. Music by Trevor Jones.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6928 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Allen Hughes  (1972 - )

American director of socially conscious thrillers, usually with his twin brother Albert. Menace II Society and Dead Presidents were violent urban crime stories, but with From Hell they transported their style to Victorian England for a Jack the Ripper tale. They both returned after too long away in 2010 with religious sci-fi The Book of Eli.

Albert Hughes  (1972 - )

American director of socially conscious thrillers, usually with his twin brother Allen. Menace II Society and Dead Presidents were violent urban crime stories, but with From Hell they transported their style to Victorian England for a Jack the Ripper tale. They both returned after too long away in 2010 with religious sci-fi The Book of Eli and Albert set out on his own in 2018 with prehistoric doggy story Alpha.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: