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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Movie Review: From Hell

From Hell
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
122 mins.
Rated: R

Last week I presented a new installment of Two Sides to Every Story featuring Jack the Ripper v. Prince Albert Victor. I happened to come across this film of TV this weekend (which I had actually wanted to see for awhile) and it ties right into that previous discussion. From Hell is a crime/mystery/drama film exploring the famous Whitechapel murders and who may have been the notorious Jack the Ripper.

Johnny Depp plays Inspector Frederick Abberline who has a psychic connection with the murders and is one of the investigators on the case. He leads us through all of the murders and tries to connect the dots. Heather Graham plays Mary Kelly a prostitute in the Whitechapel district – she is one of several women of the night who seem to work together in this movie. I felt that both did decent jobs in their perspective roles.

I was curious prior to watching this film to see what route they would take. As we know there is no definitive answer as to who the Ripper was so there are many theories out there. This movie incorporated bits and pieces of a few of them. The most central is the Prince Albert Victor and Royal Family connection. They address the Cleveland Street Scandal (which Leslie Carroll goes deeper into in Royal Pains) and the build toward the theory of his secret low-born lover and bastard child – they also throw in for good measure the theory of the Prince having a bad case of syphilis. And if you are reading this and saying “she is giving away the whole plot!”, rest assured, I am not. You will really be surprised when they reveal who their Ripper is. It wasn’t really someone that I considered – I was pretty sure they were going to leave it unsolved because they didn’t give a lot of clues throughout. One thing is certain; this is a story of revisionist history for sure. Not only is it based off of a theory but they change some MAJOR plot points that are known to have happened in the Whitechapel murders.

If you are worried about the R rating – it is mostly for one short scene of female nudity and some minor drug use. The way that they depict the murders is mostly with smoke and mirrors, flashes of light and shadow (except for one quick scene that was a little gross).

There were only a couple small things that bothered me. There was a semblance of a romance that felt a little awkward and left unfinished and I thought the very ending was a little ridiculous, but overall I really enjoyed the movie. They did a decent job of presenting much of the story and several of the theories and tying them nicely together – this could have been a real massacre (no pun intended!).

Also, I can’t close out this review without stating that this movie is loosely based off of the graphic novel, From Hell, which I haven’t read, so I don’t know how much of it is based on it.

Check out this trailer:

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I really liked this movie. In fact, I own it! I will say that Heather Graham's hair looked pretty fake. It was on HBO the other day and I was thinking I didn't remember her red hair looking so fake!

  2. Michelle - yeah, I wasn't a fan of her hair either. I watched it on my HBO On Demand. I tried to get my boyfriend to watch it but he wasn't interested - so I got up real early on Saturday to watch it before he got up!


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