From Hell

"OK"

From Hell Review


Jack the Ripper remains one of the most enigmatic, heavily-studied serial killers in history. He was brutal, he was clever, he was also never apprehended... or was he? The directing brothers Allen and Albert Hughes take a substantial departure from earlier material like Menace II Society and Dead Presidents with From Hell, a kooky interpretation of the Jack the Ripper case and its associated conspiracy theories.

Based on a series of comic books, From Hell actually focuses on an investigator named Abberline (Johnny Depp), who works the lower-class Whitechapel district of London in 1888. Abberline, in keeping with the presumably sacred rule that any character Depp embodies must be a nutjob, is a Laudanum addict, drinks Absinthe, and has bizarre visions in his sleep that portend Jack's next victim. If only he'd been born a century later, he could have had his own 1-900 number.

Jack plies his trade on a clutch of hookers, each murder more gruesome than the last, while he leaves bizarre clues for the cops. On the trail of the killer, Abberline rubs elbows with a physician (Ian Holm), who points him in the direction of royalty as the suspect, while he also starts to fall for one of the hookers (Heather Graham) -- of course the only pretty one among the quintet.

While From Hell (the title refers to the return address on Jack's letter to the cops) is told with a certain flair -- some will find it stylish, others are sure to find it nauseating and gimmicky -- it nonetheless turns a gripping, true story into something tired and predictable. There's not a lot of thrill or mystery to be had here -- instead of showing us what the police work of 1888 looks like we are treated to an endless series of Abberline's visions, which send him running to one corner after another, always too late to do any good. The whole investigation is utter nonsense. Worse than the lack of suspense, though, is the lack of anything even remotely scary -- even the murder sequences are shown in shadow with just a flash of blade and a spurt of blood. Boring, really.

Likewise, Depp and Graham seem more occupied with their outrageous accents (his Cockney, hers Irish) than in building their characters. As a result, when the two develop a love affair, it elicits giggles from the audience instead of coos.

I find myself surprisingly mute on the remainder of From Hell. It isn't bad, but it certainly isn't good -- it's just kind of there, this tale of a murderer ending up as lifeless as one of his victims. I'm sure it will generate a healthy cult following (and a fair amount of hate mail for me), but most viewers will be sorely disappointed.

Dozing off.



From Hell

Facts and Figures

Run time: 122 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th October 2001

Box Office USA: $30.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $74.6M

Budget: $35M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
Fresh: 86 Rotten: 64

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Kevin J. Messick,

Starring: as Inspector Frederick Abberline, as Mary Kelly, as Sir William Gull, as Sergeant Peter Godley, as Sir Charles Warren, as Netley, the Coachman, as Dark Annie Chapman, as Benjamin 'Ben' Kidney, as Liz Stride, as Dr. Ferral, as Kate Eddowes, Estelle Skornik as Ada, Nicholas McGaughey as Officer Bolt, as Polly Nichols, as Ann Crook

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Advertisement
Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

With a sweeping, picturesque setting and emotive performances, this dramatic epic will appeal to moviegoers...

The Accountant Movie Review

The Accountant Movie Review

While this slick dramatic thriller plays with some intriguing ideas and themes, it never actually...

Train to Busan Movie Review

Train to Busan Movie Review

Leave it to the Koreans to reinvent the zombie horror movie and put a high-speed...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.