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From Hell (2001 movie)

A 2001 horror-mystery film directed by the Hughes Brothers and loosely based upon the graphic novel of the same name.

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History Re-created (from a comic book perspective).

  • Feb 25, 2005
The time: 1888. The place: London, Whitechapel district (the Victorian equivalant to the modern Red Light district). Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) is a beautiful and buxom lass who's life in London didn't turn out anything like she planned, struggling just to survive working in the world's oldest profession. Mary and her friends live a harsh existence. Their only comforts are their own companionship and the belief that their lives cannot possibly get any worse than it already is. But they do. Their friend (and former prostitute) Ann, is kidnapped from her home and disappears. Days later a member of their fellowship is brutally murdered. The women realize that they have unknowingly become a part of a conspiracy in which they have no control and are being eliminated one by one. Meanwhile, the gruesome murder of the Whitechapel girl has gained the attention of a brilliant police officer, Inspector Fred Abberline (Johnny Depp). Abberline claims he had visions about the murder. The dreams continue, more prostitutes are brutally murdered by an anonymous killer who is dubbed Jack the Ripper and claims that he has been sent from Hell, and Abberline becomes increasingly entangled in the wicked web as he falls in love with Mary Kelly and races to solve the case before she meets Jack.

The Hughes brothers pulled off an impressive horror/suspense film with FROM HELL. At it's most basic level, the movie is a slasher movie. But FROM HELL is a slasher flick done with taste. The film is rather gruesome in certain sections and is fairly historically accurate. However, the brothers feared the possibility of a NC-17 rating if too much was revealed and used a great deal of restraint in re-creating the famous murders. It is a testament to their skills that they were able to re-produce the real-life terror felt at the time, but without displaying all the grizzly details. Not only that but the historical re-creation of 1888 Whitechapel is amazing. Almost every minute detail is reconstructed to perfection.

Johnny Depp captures the essence of the real-life Abberline despite the fact that the real Abberline was short, balding, paunchy, and lived to a fairly ripe-old age. Heather Graham does a decent job of portraying Mary Kelly, though it would have been nice to see a more real-looking actress in the role--Graham is just too Glamour Girlish.

There have been many Jack the Ripper movies made over the years, but FROM HELL is one of the better ones (despite the inprobable conclusion). The movie is based upon the graphic novel by Alan Moore and though their are several changes, the movie stays true to the spirit of the original text. Just don't think about it too much.

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More From Hell (2001 film) reviews
Quick Tip by . May 03, 2011
Heavy on atmosphere and even heavier on conspiracy theories, FROM HELL boasts outstanding performances from Johnny Depp and Heather Graham as two lost souls crying out for one another's company while remaining caught in the twists and turns of Jack the Ripper's nefarious deeds toward the end of the 1900s. A fascinatingly brisk tale, not for the squeamish of heart or stomach, but one that dares to draw its one conclusions when other pictures have failed to do so. Sit back, have some popcorn, …
review by . January 05, 2010
Johnny squares off with Jack , but even that isn't intresting enough to save this film ....
Jack the Ripper's true identity  has always been  talk among people  for  two centuries, yet nobody has come up with a decent answer or any conclusive evidence to  truly crack  the case of  the worlds first serial killer.  Now in late 2001 the Hughes Brothers  attempt to adapt the  90's   graphic novel  series from Alan Moore(creator of Watchmen)  that gives a  spin on  the true identity  of one of the in famous …
review by . November 14, 2008
From Hell
Aside from taking a fresh and unique approach to the old mysteries of Jack The Ripper, From Hell delivers a gracefully languid storyline peppered with brutal killings and interesting musings into an old fashioned culture.     Inspector Fred Abberline (Johnny Depp) has a unique gift, a psychic ability to see murders in his opium dreams. Because of this talent, he is assigned to the case of a brutally murdered prostitute along with his partner, Sergeant Peter Godley (Robbie Coltrane). …
review by . March 31, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Imagery, pacing, generally well told      Cons: Tacked on romantic bit and a fanciful guess at the man himself      The Bottom Line: If you are a Ripper-o-phile, don't bother. If you like films made with an eye toward the visually stunning, then this is pretty close to a must see.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. To paraphrase the epigraph that opens the Hughes Brothers’ …
review by . February 02, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Johnny Depp, period piece     Cons: cliched plot with revisionist history imprints     The Bottom Line: Johhny Depp does it again in a revisionist take on the classic Ripper murders!     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. Saw this one at the buck fifty palace and it was worth every penny. I tried to catch it earlier at the regular theater and would have paid full price ticket but couldn't juggle …
review by . October 18, 2001
Pros: Great sets and costumes, gripping story.     Cons: may to be to graphic for some.     The Bottom Line: A great and gripping look into one of the most chilling chapters in history. Great sets, acting, and pacing make this a solid film.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. Jack the Ripper, one of the most notorious and yet mysterious figures every to emerge from history. A cold, and ruthless killer, …
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About this movie


From Hell is a 2001 American thriller-horror-mystery film about the Jack the Ripper murders, loosely based on the graphic novel of the same title by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. It was directed by the Hughes brothers, the first film that they directed outside of the hood film genre. It was first released on October 19, 2001.
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Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: October 19, 2001
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Rafael Yglesias, Terry Hayes
Runtime: 122 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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