From Hell (2001)

R   |    |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller


From Hell (2001) Poster

In Victorian-era London, a troubled clairvoyant police detective investigates the murders of Jack the Ripper.

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6.8/10
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  • The Ripper approaches his latest victim as she lays asleep in her bed.
  • Sgt. Godley (Robbie Coltrane) finds himself drawn deepen into the mystery surrounding the gruesome murders in the Whitechapel district of London.
  • Johnny Depp and Heather Graham in From Hell (2001)
  • Johnny Depp in From Hell (2001)
  • Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) is a woman living on the brink of society, earning a meager living with her body on the streets of the Whitechapel district of London.
  • Adrien Brody at an event for From Hell (2001)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


26 April 2005 | MovieAddict2016
6
| Interesting spin on the tale, if not particularly memorable
"From Hell" is an interesting spin on the familiar Jack the Ripper tale, using the iconic cultural image of the cloaked man with the top hat as the source for a spin-off not of history, but of a graphic novel.

The lead performance by Johnny Depp as Inspector Abberline (who really existed in 1888 at the time of the murders and really was an authority on the case) is wonderful. Depp nails the cockney accent perfectly. Unfortunately, Heather Graham -- as the prostitute Mary Kelley -- is not as fortunate. Although her accent seems to improve throughout the film at various intervals, for most of "From Hell's" duration her British voice is quite stiff and the American twang is audible. The Hughes Brothers did not choose Graham for her acting abilities.

That said, the set design on this production is magnificent. 1880s London is brought to life and Whitechapel has never looked more realistic. The film is an odd hybrid of genres because it maintains the look and feel of a slasher film whilst presenting historical elements and painstaking recreations of actual murders. Robbie Coltrane, as one of the police officers involved in the case, has a lot of fun with his character and is fun to watch, and similarly as convincing as the scenery.

This is a very gritty and gory film -- more so than I ever expected. It's quite a strange beast with hallucinogenic visuals, horror elements and history thrown in for good measure, on top of some slightly modernized techniques. All in all this film kept me entertained because it was unique, and very different, and not particularly because it was "great." I didn't expect a whole lot, but I felt that the movie was directed as ably as it could (or should) have been and the performance by Johnny Depp was deserving of a better film. The ending got a bit carried away, but it still presents a pretty cool twist on the whole Jack the Ripper scenario without totally insulting the intelligence or even upsetting one's sense of history. (Like Disney's "Pocahontas.") The respect the filmmakers have for their material shines through and elevates this above what it could have been. Definitely worth seeing, if only for its originality.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ceremony, in which Dr. Ferral (Paul Rhys) is partaking halfway through the movie, is a Freemasonic initiation ritual. During this particular ritual, the candidate (Dr. Ferral) is initiated into the very first degree of Freemasonry called "Entered Apprentice". For this ritual, the candidate is stripped of all of his clothes, except his shirt, and is clothed in a pair of drawers kept in the lodge for the use of candidates. The candidate is then blindfolded, which masons refer to as "hoodwinking", and a rope called a "Cable-tow" is hung around his neck. His left foot is bare, his right in a slipper, and his left breast and arm are naked. After a lengthy ritual, the candidate is finally ordered to kneel on his left knee, place his right hand on the square and compass, and raise his left hand in the air. He is then ordered to give the solemn oath of secrecy. In every ritual degree of Freemasonry, the candidate is required to take an oath, and is warned of the hideous and grotesque penalty that awaits him, if he dares ever to reveal any of the group's innermost secrets. In this first degree oath of Freemasonry, as is depicted in the movie, the candidate declares: "...binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly violate this my Entered Apprentice obligation."


Quotes

Peter Godley: Sorry about the rude awakening.


Goofs

Abberline has an old looking phonograph in his flat. It has 100 years worth of blemishes even though it was a brand new invention.


Crazy Credits

Thanks to the Megerdichian family


Alternate Versions

The line "Jack the Ripper's not finished", which was included in several previews, is not in the film itself.


Soundtracks

Duke Street
Written by
John Hatton

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Horror | Mystery | Thriller

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