From Hell

From Hell

Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes (2001)

117min
18 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Given the intricacy of Alan Moore's graphic novel From Hell, it's no surprise that Menace II Society directors Allen and Albert Hughes have focused solely on the elements concerning Jack the Ripper for this celluloid adaptation of the book. After all, Victorian London's most infamous denizen continues to morbidly fascinate the serial killer-obsessed public, particularly as he was never caught. Despite the gruesome nature of the Ripper's crimes, the Hughes Brothers resist the temptation to produce merely a blood-drenched whodunnit; this is a meticulous, gripping chiller that captivates on many levels. On the one hand, it's painstakingly crafted social history that captures the grime, grit and prejudices of a thoroughly hypocritical era. On the other, it's a grisly and horribly believable tale of greed, revenge and lunacy in which gore is only part of the pervading horror. Ultimately, and refreshingly, the plot is strong enough to contextualise the violence. Combined with the hypnotic camerawork and inspired performances (particularly from Johnny Depp as the policeman on the trail of the Ripper and Ian Holm as respected physician Sir William Gull), this ensures that the movie is both visually and intellectually engaging. The one flaw is in the casting of Heather Graham as potential victim Mary Kelly, whose unblemished beauty and ever-changing accent strike the only hollow notes.

Summary

A detective tries to use his opium-triggered visions to put an end to Jack the Ripper's reign of terror over 19th-century London. But in the course of his investigation, he uncovers a sinister conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of Victorian society. Mystery thriller, based on Alan Moore's comic book series, starring Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm and Robbie Coltrane.

Cast & Crew

Inspector Frederick "Fred" Abberline Johnny Depp
Mary Kelly Heather Graham
Sir William Gull Ian Holm
Sgt Peter Godley Robbie Coltrane
Sir Charles Warren Ian Richardson
John Netley Jason Flemyng
"Dark Annie" Chapman Katrin Cartlidge
Kate Eddowes Lesley Sharp
Liz Stride Susan Lynch
Ben Kidney Terence Harvey
Polly Annabelle Apsion
Ada Estelle Skornik
Director Albert Hughes
Director Allen Hughes
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: 20th Century Fox Guidance: Violence, drug abuse, sex scenes and nudity. Available on: Available on video, DVD and BluRay Released on: 8 Feb 2002

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