We've seen it all done before...and better at that!
G. Van Der Bent | Katwijk, The Netherlands | 08/10/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I live in Holland. Though that doesn't have many advantages, sometimes straight-to-video fodder like RIPPER comes out over here months before it does in the States and that then gives me the oppertunity to cast my verdict a little earlier before any of you American horrorgeeks can.Now, on to the movie...The subtitle monicker LETTER FROM HELL may have this appear to be a cash in on the Johnny Depp/ Heather Graham movie, but don't be fooled. It is more in the SCREAM/ I KNOW WHAT YOU DID... vein.And it isn't a very good movie.The word 'rip-off' clearly comes to mind. Let me explain a little about the plot and you'll know what I mean. A girl is attacked by a serial killer who butchers her friends and she only narrowly escapes. Cut to 'five years later' and the girl is on campus where her criminology professor is giving a course on...you guessed it: serial killers. Before you can say 'haven't I seen this all before?' the killings have started and the girl and her classmates are the soon-to-be victims of a smart (?) killer who imitates (gasp) Jack the Ripper. So, from then on not only do these kids have to fear for their lives, they also have to find out who the killer is, in a very dull whodunnit subplot by the way.Alas RIPPER should have been called RIPP-OFF but though there aren't many, I'd also like to name the good points of this movie.
Bruce Payne (as the professor) is a good actor. I like him. He's become a real B-movie regular (HIGHLANDER: ENDGAME anyone?) and it's too bad the heavy from PASSENGER 57 has ended up like this.
Next to him we also have Jurgen Prochnow hamming it up (but in an entertaining way) as a police detective on the trail of the killer, and English pin-up Kelly Brook as the bimbo/ slut student of the group. She really is gorgeous, but is killed off way too soon in the movie. Finally there's a little spark of energy in the finale and the revelation of the killer. I myself figured it out before that, but for you who don't; it shows that the writer of RIPPER isn't a complete knucklehead and hints at what this movie could have been...namely so much more. In the meantime, if you wanna watch a good horror/ murder mystery I recommend a few Italian giallo's like DEEP RED and DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING."
Not a bad slasher movie
William Sorensen | Saarbruecken Germany | 01/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was actually pretty impressed with this film, although there are a few plot holes and the idea of people who are being stalked by a maniac deciding to go hide out in a deserted cabin is silly. But if you are a slasher fan, this has got some pretty intense and insane murders...one in a wood cutter has got to be seen. Plus an homage to Dario Argento's Susperia in a goth club is cool... Also, the acting is good, the soundtrack is excellent, and the director does a great job. SO if you aren't expecting a brilliant or absolutely terrifying experience, you might be surprised at how good this B movie is."
Another straight-to-DVD gem
Genevieve Hayes | Australia | 08/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Massacre survivor Molly Keller (A.J. Cook) finds her life turned upside-down yet again when the students in her criminal psychology class start falling victim to a serial killer who appears to be a copy-cat of Jack the Ripper.
Considering the fact that "Ripper: Letter from Hell" is a low-budget Canadian horror film that went straight to DVD, it is a surprisingly good film. The structure of the film is that of your standard teenage hack and slash, but what makes this film stand out is the Jack the Ripper theme that holds the killings together. Unlike many other low-budget teen horror movies, the writer of this film has actually put a lot of thought into this script and it shows, and as someone who is fascinated by Jack the Ripper (ever since I saw "From Hell", another excellent film), I really appreciated the way that the writer took the story of the Ripper and placed it in a modern setting. Like the script, the acting is also above average for this sort of movie. The two leads, Cook and Bruce Kane as Professor Marshall Kane, both make their parts believable. And finally, the ending of the film is also truly awesome and will keep you thinking for the next day or so. After seeing this film, I recommend you have a look on IMDb to see all the different interpretations people have had of this ending. As with the case of Jack the Ripper, there is no one answer that everyone is in agreement on, which makes the film all the more fun.
1.25 STARS: A decent "whodunnit" flick drowns in its own amb
HorrorMan | The Marsten House | 01/10/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Ripper" might have been a decent "whodunnit" slasher flick, but it is just too far-fetched and over the top. There are no likeable characters whatsoever. There is some mystery to it all, but the plot tries to be too cute and too clever and the result is a convoluted mess of a movie that is too far-fetched and trendy for its own good. I would say that "Ripper" is a lot like "Urban Legend" (really kind of rips this one off and not quite as good) and even "Murder 101", although there are too many stupid and unrealistic ideas and scenes in this movie...some of it is just ridiculous. Also, did I mention that these characters suck? Also, I got really tired of the "new age" element in this movie. Overall, this movie had some potential believe it or not, but it's a very frustrating viewing experience. The acting was okay overall, the kills were not very impressive either. Plot execution was poor for the most part because they tried to do too much with it...they should have kept it simple. Finally, the ending was horrible and just plain stupid. In short, it is the mystery and suspense with the "whodunnit" theme that carries this "Ripper" as far as its merit is concerned, but that's just not enough to save this miserable mess of a movie that is totally devoid of scares and atmosphere. 1.25 STARS for the mystery, but that's about it.