21 April 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Death by vampire
Am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and get a lot of enjoyment out of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. Also love Basil Rathbone's and especially Jeremy Brett's interpretations to death. So would naturally see any Sherlock Holmes adaptation that comes my way, regardless of its reception.
'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' is the last of four Hallmark adaptations with Matt Frewer as Holmes. Don't care for any of the four, with 'The Sign of Four' being especially disappointing, but ranking the four 'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' is perhaps the best. Like with 'The Royal Scandal', it at least doesn't have the dubious distinction of not doing classic stories justice.
Again, Kenneth Welsh is the best thing about 'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' and the only good actor in the film. He is an excellent Watson and more the faithful interpretation of a loyal and intelligent Watson and not the bumbling buffoon for comic relief purposes. Cary Lawrence is also decent.
Found some of the locations suitably atmospheric and parts of the music eerie.
However, my negative feelings on Frewer's Holmes continues to remain unchanged. He is far too manic and eccentric, with too much of an over-emphasis on hammy humour in places, and his rapport with Watson too abrasive and borderline bullying. The rest of the cast struggle, especially Neville Edwards playing Chagras as too much of a cartoonish caricature and Michel Perron over-acting just as much as he did in 'The Sign of Four' and with an even more inconsistent, risible accent.
Despite being the best generally of the four films, 'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' is one of the weaker-looking ones too. Too much of it looks static and cheap, with only some of the sets appealing. Moreover, 'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' has a lack of tension and suspense and is pretty dull, the pedestrian direction not helping. It further suffers from being somewhat over-stuffed, too many various and different ideas cobbled together and it just feels muddled and disjointed. The denouement is far too rushed and doesn't make much sense as a result, while the dialogue lacks intrigue and subtlety.
Overall, far from irredeemable but lacking in a lot of lustre. 4/10 Bethany Cox