Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|From Hell |
Actors: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane, Ian Richardson
Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Genres: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
A clairvoyant police detective must stop the most notorious serial killer in history - Jack the Ripper - before it's too late! Johnny Depp and Heather Graham star in this "engrossing, stylish thriller" (People) that "grips... more »
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Elizabeth M. (MsLisette)
Reviewed on 4/27/2011...
Interesting take on a notorious serial killer. Johnny Depp always adds to any character an element that no other actor seems to bring to the table. I love this movie, and have watched it many times.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Jack the Ripper film that lays off the really bad stuff
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The most important thing you need to know about "From Hell," is that the Hughes Brothers really let you off easy with this one. When you go home after seeing this movie late at night and have trouble getting to sleep, just remember that they could have shown you a lot more, which means you might not have gotten to sleep for a week. I have read Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's graphic novel "From Hell," and have also spent some time researching the historical record regarding Jack the Ripper, which includes not only autopsy reports but also photographs of the victims. Consequently, I was surprised that the film verion of "From Hell" actually backed off three times from completely grossing out the audience.
First, when the Ripper killed Annie Chapman he draped some of her intestines over her shoulder. The film does not even suggest this happened, beyond the idea that organs have been removed. Second, the night the Ripper claimed two victims, most Ripperologists have surmised that because he was interrupted when he killed Liz Stride, he was really angry when he killed Catherine Eddowes, since he hacked away the bottom half of her face. But when her face is revealed it is just the same as the other victims. Finally, when the doctor begins to describe the final body--usual the very words of the actual report--he stops after having described the position of the corpse. More to the point, he stops before describing what Jack did with her organs. Believe me, you do not need to see this to freak out because just hearing about it would keep you awake all night. Now, to be fair, the dialogue is the same as that scene in the graphic novel; but then Moore and Campbell had already devoted a entire volume to what Jack the Ripper did that night in graphic detail so it did not have to be articulated. But I was all set to hear the one of the biggest audience moans in cinematic history and was somewhat disappointed the Hughes Brothers let everybody off the hook.
Ironically, the Hughes Brothers could legitimately get away with showing us much more blood and guts. After all, the autopsy reports tell us in excruciating detail what the Ripper did to each of his victims and they could simply claim historical accuracy. But instead they pull up short, giving them even more latitude for getting away with what gore they do offer up. However, during Abberline's vision of what will happen to Jack the Ripper's final victim, one of the images that flashes before our eyes is indeed a photograph taken by the police of the mutilated body of Mary Kelly. This only goes to reinforce the great divide that exists between those who have studied the murders of Jack the Ripper and/or read "From Hell" and those who simply know Jack the Ripper killed a bunch of prostitutes in London in the late 19th century and was never caught.
Certainly, the Hughes Brothers do play with us in this film. If you can stomach seeing it a second time, or if you already know who "From Hell" contends is the Ripper, then they are several scenes were Abberline is tantalizingly close to the killer. Of course, they are not alone in such regard; "The Bone Collector" was particularly audacious in offering us a first glimpse of the killer. Moore and Campbell let us know the identity of Jack from before he ever starts his killing spree, but the movie version decides to keep it a mystery and apparently succeeds in surprising those who only know about "From Hell" from the trailer and television commercials.
The Hughes Brothers have described "From Hell" as a "ghetto" film, and certainly the production design stands out in providing a fitting atmosphere for the tale. The events we are watching are not taking place in the London we have come to know from countless Hammer horror films but in what we readily accept as the city's Whitechapel district in the fall of 1888 (with Prague doubling nicely). This is as stylish a slasher flick as you will ever see, with the time-lapse sequence of the discovery of one of the bodies and the revelation of the Masonic meeting beneath the streets of London particularly memorable. Even the lighting works towards the proper atmosphere for the story.
Johnny Depp's performance as Inspector Abberline is nicely understated (the character's psychic visions come from a fake psychic who was in the graphic novel). Unfortunately, Heather Graham is just too darn cute, sticking out from the rest of the totally believable group of prostitutes (Annabelle Apsion, Katrin Cartlidge, Susan Lynch and Lesley Sharp). I had heard that the producers made actually made them shoot a "happy ending" to this film, but fortunately they had the wisdom not to use it. Ripperologists knew going in that this was not going to be the "true" story about Jack, so that additional liberties such as all of the victims hanging out together all the time and the total absence of men in any of their lives, are easily forgivable. What was always impressive about Moore's tale was how he managed to weave so many different elements together into a comprehensive tale, even if it is ultimately suspect. But the film version strips the story down to its essentials and while it is certainly the best Jack the Ripper film made to date, I cannot shake my head and think how much better it could have been by letting the audience glimpse just a little bit more of the true story.
But, oh, boys and girls, "From Hell" could have upset you a whole lot more than it did. If only you can understand how close to the edge of the cliff you were on this one..."
Meticulous and Thrilling Depiction of an Incarnation of Evil
CreepyT | Colorado, United States | 07/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jack the Ripper is perhaps one of the most famous (or should I say infamous) serial killers known. His has indeed become somewhat of a household name that has withstood the test of time. The Whitechapel murders, to this day, remain unsolved, and many people find themselves morbidly drawn to this slew of ghastly occurrences. The Hughes brothers are no different from the countless others who seek to dissect the facts surrounding these heinous crimes, and they approach this fascination with cinematic fervor, creating an excellent movie from the excellent comic book.There have been countless books, movies, and PBS specials produced that delve into the Jack the Ripper tales and theories. This particular adaptation is the depiction of a detective named Inspector Fred Abberline (Johnny Depp) who is hot on the trail of the murderous monster. Enlisting the hallucinatory effects of absinthe, he can induce visions that aid him in his quests. Throughout his investigation, he gradually begins to fall for one of the Whitechapel prostitutes at risk (Mary Kelly played by Heather Graham), and this serves to up the ante regarding the challenge to find the villain and, furthermore, accelerate his efforts. Sir William Gull (Ian Holm) is a doctor who contributes to Inspector Fred Abberline's profile of the meandering butcher. Add to this an illegitimate marriage and a royal scandal, and this equates to an enticingly dour, moody thriller that one can't help but to enjoy. The sets on this film are incredible, and included in the two disc edition within the extras existing on the DVD is an intriguing explanation of the recreation of the sets from actual photographs and maps from the period. The props and attire were also quite well done. The acting and casting were superb. The dark lighting created a potently thrilling and disturbing atmosphere, and the excellent cinematography only served to strengthen that sinister ambiance, as well as create an almost overwhelming sense of impending danger. The blood and gore effects are incredible as well, yet they never take precedence over the story line, which is very much appreciated. Though fairly predictable, this film is still an exhilarating, if somewhat fictitious, romp through some dreary and obscure pages in history. This movie is a must for fans of horror, true crime, and dark thrillers. I very highly recommend this film to those with any kind of brooding fascination for the macabre. Not for the easily disturbed."
A Hellish Pleasure
Brandon Galvin | Kansas City, MO USA | 10/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I had seen the trailers for the film "From Hell" I'd expected it to be good. Was it good? Yes. As good as I hoped it would be? No. But it is still a damned fine mystery-horror-thriller that incorperates romance and drama into the story as well. The story follows Inspector Fredrick Abberline as he begins his investigation of the infamous Whitechapel murders, perpetrated by the shadowy, never-caught Jack the Ripper. During the course of the investigation, he has precognitive visions that lead him deeper into the mystery, as he tries to save the beautiful prostitutes who are being viciously murdered, and are somehow linked to a massive conspiracy. He even begins to fall in love with Mary Kelly, who would be the Ripper's final victim.The performance of Johhny Depp as Inspector Abberline is overall an excellent performance from an actor who always takes notoriously quirky roles. Heather Graham came off rather well as Mary Kelly--much better than I thought she would be. Robbie Coltrane plays the part of the Inspector's sidekick, Sgt. Godley, extremely well, and he manages to steal all of his scenes. Another wonderful portrayal is that of Ian Holm as the royal physician Sir William Gull, who assists Inspector Abberline and may have a key to the mystery. Supporting performances are all pulled off very well.The set design and visual effects are gorgeous and haunting, giving a vivid presentation of 1888 London(the visuals rival even those of Tim Burton). The murders are left more to the imagination rather than being very explicit--but the onscreen gore effects are decidedly gruesome. Even the music by Trevor Jones is haunting in the simple, dark textual feel that it gives off.The story itself is overall good. The first 3/4ths are quite ingenious, but in the very end of the film is not what I expected and I was a little disappointed in the resolution and conclusion of the tale. The Ripper's identity and motive were excellent, even when kept faceless in the shadows. But the as the climax builds up, it seems to be running out of steam. My only major gripe is how complicated the story gets as it progresses--adding in the conspiracy and the romance, it just seems unable to hold its own weight, building up to nothing. Although this can be accounted by trying to stick close to the source material and history itself, the conclusion is not wholly satisfying. But overall this is a good movie that will undoubtedly become a favorite among Ripper fans, as well as fans of "Seven" and "Silence of the Lambs". If you can tolerate its massive complexity and the rather limp ending, then you will find this an entertaining and enjoyable--and rather nasty--little pleasure."