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 true-life horror story of Jack the Ripper gets a new spin in this screen adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. In 1888, a ruthless and cold-blooded killer begins hunting prostitutes in East London, and while the murderer's work is savage, the mutilation of his victims suggests the fiend has an extensive medical background.…  See more details below

Overview

The true-life horror story of Jack the Ripper gets a new spin in this screen adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. In 1888, a ruthless and cold-blooded killer begins hunting prostitutes in East London, and while the murderer's work is savage, the mutilation of his victims suggests the fiend has an extensive medical background. Amidst a background of political unrest and barely contained scandal among the royal family, the murderer's grisly exploits shock and frighten all of England, and one of Scotland Yard's top inspectors, Fred Abberline (Johnny Depp), is put on the case, along with his partner, Peter Godley (Robbie Coltrane). Abberline, depending on one's viewpoint, is either blessed or cursed with second sight, and while he blurs his ability to see future events with opium and other drugs, he still has an uncanny ability to ferret out dangerous criminals, which is put to the test as he and Godley search for the Ripper. As Abberline and Godley investigate the neighborhood where the crimes occur, they become acquainted with the prostitutes and street people who were friends and compatriots of the victims, and Abberline finds himself falling in love with Mary Kelly (Heather Graham), a beautiful Irish streetwalker. As Abberline tries to identify the killer before Mary Kelly can become the next victim, he and Godley have to contend with Sir Charles Warren (Ian Richardson), their superior who is keen to pin the murders on a culprit who isn't British, and Sir William Gull (Ian Holm), a respected physician who has his own ideas about the murders and the benefits of psychosurgery. From Hell marked a change of pace for Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes, the sibling directorial team best known for their gritty depictions of America's urban underground in such films as Menace II Society and Dead Presidents.

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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:
10/09/2007
UPC:
0024543401223
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:02:00
Sales rank:
24,870

Special Features

Full-length commentary by directors Albert and Allen Hughes, screenwriter Rafael Yglesias, cinematographer Peter Deming and actor Robbie Coltrane; Alternative ending and over 20 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Albert Hughes; Original theatrical trailer; Trivia track

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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From Hell 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is interesting to notice that two black directors made a movie involving all-white cast in this film. I think that was a remarkable achievement. Anyway, I liked the film because it was suspenseful and gripping. The artwork, the scenery, and the view of London were dynamic. The artistic creation team deserves a look for the Academy Awards. Johnny Depp is notorious for selecting dark movies, and this was a fine definition of his work. He gave a bold performance as Inspector Abberline. Heather Graham was great in Boogie Nights, but this time, she lacks. I think the role was kinda wrong for her. I think that how the movie used up the flashback/dream sequences while jack the Ripper came to slaughter were cool, better done than it was in Natural Born Killers. I believe I need to see this movie again to give a better review, giving more thought about it. Two things I can say...first, the movie is very good. Secondly, a Johnny Depp movie is well worth renting because he never fails to please the audience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this film. It may not be the true story about Jack the Ripper, but it's twisted plot keeps you guessing. Rated R for Strong violence, gore, language, nudity, and some sexuality. This movie is twisted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good but could be better. Most folks unfamiliar w/ Jack the Ripper should view some of the special features and do some homework prior to screening. Some basic Ripperology contributes immensely to the enjoyment. Depp does almost the same role as he did in Sleepy Hollow - only this time there is less humor & less gore. More of both would have helped.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There more I watch this movive, the more I love it. If you are a fan of Johnny Depp this film is a must-see. Flaring his talent for versatility he is captivating as Dt Abberline. What little humor there is in this movie is subtle and wonderfully delivered by Depp. It helps to have some prior knowledge of Jack the Ripper but the movie is easy enough to follow without it. Those who have read the novel may find it a little different. Watch the movie with an open mind and an eye for detail. There's a lot to be seen in the almost permanently dark world portrayed. The murders themselves are not as graphic as I may have expected. They allude to the horror more than they show it. Since history tells us the fate of these women the suspense and tension could've been increased a little by being more graphic but I guess for the slightly squeamish it's probably strong enough as it is. This movie is great viewing and although it doesn't meet the typical thriller genre it has a dramatic style all its own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is perhaps the best movie about the Jack the Ripper murders since the t.v. movie Starring Micheal Caine. It is an excellent movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yet again, Johnny Depp works well with the eerie and sometimes gothic settings and fits in perfectly and i don't say that to just any actor. This is the story based on the legend of Jack the Ripper. Awesome suspense, costumes, story and characters. Heard the movie would of been perfect if the main guy wasn't a physic or something but overall i liked the movie and is a favorite next to Sleepy Hollow which was equally good and loved the goth like setting and reference to Halloween.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Johnny Depp is, once again, amazing! The movie tells the historical events that unfolded during the Jack the Ripper murders. Set in London's Whitechapel District in the 1880s, this movie provides an equal mixture of history, mystery, and gruesomeness! Depp plays a detective that is looking to find the true Jack the Ripper. Although there are instances in the screenplay that are historically inaccurate, this movie still provides a great insight into a bloody and dirty period.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Basically it tells the tale of an obsessed turned physic ? detective who is out to capture and put an end to Jack the Ripper's legacy of stalking the night of London.