Monday, October 8, 2012

From Hell (2001): Johnny Depp and Jack the Ripper


     Directed by the Hughes brothers, From Hell (2001) is a stylish film adaptation of the comic book series of the same name, about the Jack the Ripper murders. A departure from the Hughes brothers' usual modern, urban stomping ground like in Menace II Society (1993), the team handles the 100+ year old setting surprisingly well. The cast is excellent, including the always-great Johnny Depp, Heather Graham and Ian Holm. The truly astounding elements of From Hell, however, reside in the atmosphere, sets and cinematography created by the Art Department. They have recreated 1880's Victorian-era poor, White Chapel District London in all it's grittiness, dirt, debauchery, degradation and degeneration. It is an astounding achievement in set design and feel.
     1888: A fiendish killer called "Jack the Ripper" is terrorizing the White Chapel district of London, preying on downtrodden prostitutes. His crimes are all the more horrific, given the gory details and based on the theory that he is an educated man with a thorough knowledge of human anatomy. No one has lived to describe the Ripper, he strikes without warning and disappears back into the shadows...


     Jack the Ripper's victims are not being chosen at random, however, he is seemingly disposing of a group of prostitute friends one by one. But why are they being targeted?...


      Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) is amongst them...


     Police Inspector Frederick Abberline (Johnny Depp) is assigned to the case, based on his unique ability to envision the crimes in his dreams...


     but Abberline has his own demons holding him back...


     All of London is on edge, but especially Mary Kelly for she is surely the next target...


     and there may be a more sinister, authoritative power behind the killings...


     Abberline must get to the bottom of things...


     before the last of the girls, Mary, is killed by the Ripper as well...



"From Hell"- movie trailer