From Hell

From Hell

4.3 18
Director: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes

Cast: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes, Johnny Depp, Heather Graham

     
 

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The Hughes brothers' stylish thriller is packaged in a dynamic special edition two-disc set. Disc one presents the film in its original anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 format. The audio is formatted in Dolby Digital 5.1 for the English track and Dolby Surround for the French and Spanish tracks. Special features on this disc include a feature commentary with directors… See more details below

Overview

The Hughes brothers' stylish thriller is packaged in a dynamic special edition two-disc set. Disc one presents the film in its original anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 format. The audio is formatted in Dolby Digital 5.1 for the English track and Dolby Surround for the French and Spanish tracks. Special features on this disc include a feature commentary with directors Albert and Allen Hughes, screenwriter Rafael Yglesias, cinematgrapher Peter Deming, and actor Robbie Coltrane. There's also over 20 deleted scenes including an alternate ending. An Easter Egg revealing the DVDs production credits can be found on this first disc by selecting language selection, then highlighting main menu and arrowing right to open the corpse's eye. Disc two has the bulk of the bonus material. The original theatrical trailer is included, along with one for Unfaithful. "Six Degrees of Jack the Ripper: An Exploration of Ripperology" is a fascinating look at the many theories and suspects behind the legendary serial killer. This piece includes interviews, research, and morgue photos. "A View From Hell" is an HBO featurette that's hosted by actress Heather Graham. It discusses the in-depth research the Hughes' conducted to give their movie authenticity. In "Tour of the Murder Sites," the brothers' show off the impressive White Chapel set they had built in Prague. "Production Design" is a behind-the-scenes featurette with production designer Martin Childs that shows how the film's interior and exterior sets were created. "Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder" gives the history of the wormwood-based drink. From Hell was inspired by the comic book written by Alan More and Eddie Campbell. In a "Graphic Novel to Film Comparison," the brothers show how they utilized the book in the film and where they departed from the original story. Finally, an Easter Egg can be found on this disc by highlighting "Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder," then pressing the down arrow and the right arrow. This will highlight an instrument in the case. Click on it to watch a 45 minute movie, "Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution." Like the film itself, the bonus material on both discs is engaging and entertaining. The Hugheses and 20th Century Fox have put together an excellent package.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Mutilated corpses are strewn liberally about From Hell, a gripping and gruesome thriller directed by Albert and Allen Hughes (Menace II Society). Based on Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's graphic novel about Jack the Ripper, From Hell stars Johnny Depp as an opium-smoking and unaccountably psychic police inspector whose clairvoyant visions aid him in his pursuit of the legendary slasher in 1888 London. Although the real-life Ripper was never caught, the film conforms to the comic book's speculative and provocative revelations as to his true identity. Unlike the comic, however, the film withholds the identity of this killer until the end, presenting a complex mystery awash in stylish, psychedelic realizations of the inspector's second sight and plenty of blood and violence. As if to counterbalance the resulting intensity, Depp plays up the inspector's opium-induced lethargy, effectively anchoring the proceedings. Heather Graham offers a strong, understated performance as a prostitute whose survival seems more and more uncertain (even if she seems a bit too well groomed to fit in with her fellow streetwalkers), and Ian Holm is typically tense as a retired surgeon who aids the inspector in his investigations. Ultimately, the cast takes a backseat to the Hugheses' calculated opium dream sequences and grisly carnage. From Hell is a grim tale that's true to its title and -- for those with strong nerves and even stronger stomachs -- a dose of some wicked thrills. The two-DVD Director's Edition includes audio commentary, a behind-the-scenes documentary, 23 additional scenes, and an alternate ending.
All Movie Guide
Allen and Albert Hughes clearly studied films like Bram Stoker's Dracula and Sleepy Hollow in preparation for their own gothic costume horror, from the operatic camera work to the eye-candy fetishizing of blood and other atmospheric fluids. From Hell boasts gorgeous art direction and as comfortable a genre shift by its directors as one could imagine, given that modern inner-city dramas (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents) were their claim to fame. Although the film's moldering period look may not be trailblazing, it's handled as adroitly as Francis Ford Coppola (Dracula) or Tim Burton (Hollow) presented similar cityscapes, carriages, and cobblestone streets. The directors' own touches distinguish the effort, such as the cool use of time lapse photography to chart policemen and onlookers rubbernecking a victim over a period of hours. It's a 19th century London that's filthy and hopeless, in every respect except for the leads -- Heather Graham is too manicured for a destitute street walker, and Johnny Depp is, well, unavoidably handsome. What holds From Hell back is that even with gruesome disembowelments and sprays of arterial blood, it's never all that creepy or unsettling. Beyond a few morbid snippets of dialogue, you never get a sense of Jack the Ripper as a character, given the film's (correct) decision to cloak his identity until the end. The chosen plot is a reasonable way to address the lingering unknowns about the killer, but it keeps him at a regrettable distance. In the era of Hannibal Lecter, viewers expect a dynamic villain to haunt them after they leave the theater -- especially if it's one of history's most methodologically twisted serial killers.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
The Hughes brothers work with commanding restraint -- they're more interested in disturbing you than in getting you to leap under your seat in fright -- yet they are hardly ones to step back from operatic mayhem.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/14/2002
UPC:
0024543035572
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, THX-Supervised Mastering, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:01:00

Special Features

Disc One: Commentary by directors Albert and Allen Hughes; 23 deleted scenes with optional director's commentary; alternate ending with optional director's commentary.
Disc Two: Four featurettes; HBO special: "A View From Hell"; behind-the-scenes with the Hughes brothers; interactive documentary: "Jack The Ripper: 6 Degrees Of Separation"; the mini-documentary "Tour Of White Chapel"; theatrical trailers.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp Inspector Frederick George Abberline
Heather Graham Mary Kelly
Ian Holm Sir William Gull
Robbie Coltrane Sgt. Peter Godley
Ian Richardson Sir Charles Warren
Jason Flemyng Netley
Katrin Cartlidge "Dark Annie" Chapman
Terence Harvey Ben Kidney
Susan Lynch Liz Stride
Lesley Sharp Kate Eddowes
Annabelle Apsion Polly
Mark Dexter Albert Sickert/Prince Edward

Technical Credits
Albert Hughes Director,Executive Producer
Allen Hughes Director,Executive Producer
Kym Barrett Costumes/Costume Designer
George Bowers Editor
Martin Childs Production Designer
Peter Deming Cinematographer
Thomas M. Hammel Executive Producer
Jane Hamsher Producer
Terry Hayes Screenwriter
Trevor Jones Score Composer
Dan Lebental Editor
Don Murphy Producer
Amy Robinson Executive Producer
Rafael Yglesias Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- From Hell
1. Chasing the Dragon (Main Titles) [1:59]
2. The Prostitues' Problem [5:18]
3. Kidnapped [1:58]
4. A Vision Of Death [:50]
5. The New Treatment [:02]
6. A Dead Woman [:04]
7. A Different Breed Of Killer [5:00]
8. Absinthe and Laudanum [3:04]
9. A Request For Help [3:02]
10. My Gentleman [2:05]
11. Ritual [2:20]
12. Butchers Aplenty [6:01]
13. Sir William's Advice [4:08]
14. Our Grandson's Malady [:36]
15. Visions Of Mary [4:39]
16. Special Branch [3:36]
17. Queen Annie [:32]
18. Annie's Prince [2:29]
19. The Secret Ceremony [5:12]
20. Still a Woman [3:10]
21. The Surgeon's Assistant [3:17]
22. Unfinished Business [3:29]
23. Find a Scapegoat [4:32]
24. The Writing On the Wall [2:17]
25. The Freemasons [1:36]
26. Below the Skin [4:48]
27. The Ripper's Prisoner [1:23]
28. The Last Victim [1:48]
29. You're Being Watched [1:23]
30. Judgement [4:28]
31. Abberline's Choice [1:08]
32. End Titles [1:07]

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