FROM HELL (2001)

Director: Allen Hughes, Albert Hughes

Starring: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham

Genre: Mystery/thriller -- the Jack the Ripper tale is re-told (available in VHS and DVD)

Reviewed by Judith Fox

Jack the Ripper, we know, was a serial killer committing his chilling and macabre murders in London, England in 1888. One book, written by Moore and Campbell, entitled FROM HELL, was made into a movie. It depicts prostitutes in the streets of London becoming victims of gruesome slaughters by a deranged killer and the attempts to solve these killings. Although this is a mystery thriller, the best part is the settings in which the movie takes place. Fantastic scenes of vivid color with dark and light contrasts. Too much blood and gore, but it sets the plot. I feel a profound statement coming on. The grime and filth of the city is in many souls, from royalty to lower classes.

Enter Inspector Abberline (Johnny Depp), a policeman with an opium addiction. Stage right, his sidekick, the Sergeant (Robbie Cultrate), rescues him from the opium den he frequents. Back in reality, Abberline is ordered by his snobby boss to find the killer. Doing his duty, Abberline meets Mary Kelly (Heather Graham), a classy slum prostitute who is the love interest. There are more characters that I haven't mentioned. This movie is full of good actors; however, it's really about solving murders and a majority of the cast only contribute short performances.

The unfortunate inspector's many theories become a pile of red herrings. Didn't one of Peter Seller's character say, "I suspect everyone?" No wonder those murders weren't solved. The ending is for you to find out.

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Edcom: There is another review of this movie in our morgue. If you would like to read it, please click here.

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