From Hell: Jack The Ripper Unmasked!

From Hell is a slasher film directed by the Hughes Brothers, based off the Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name. The plot of the film is an alternative take on the Jack The Ripper murders of the 1880’s, we see detective Frederick Abberline (Johnny Depp), desperately trying to solve the killings while also falling in love with a young prostitute Mary Kelly (Heather Graham). The case takes Frederick from the gutter slums where London’s poorest dwell, all the way to the palace.

I think that this film is very polarising, you will either love its alternative take on London’s most famous murders, or you won’t. You will either think it is interest that they place the title of ‘Ripper’ on the Royal physician, or you will think it is a scandalous mistruth. Personally, for me, I like this film’s alternative take on Jack The Ripper, I admire it for revealing the killer to us, rather than just leaving in ambiguous, as it could have easily done. I even like the ending when it is revealed that the Freemasons and The Royal Family were behind it all.

I think this film and another Johnny Depp film from around the same time Sleepy Hollow are so good as they perfectly capture this gothic sensibility that I don’t think any other films I’ve ever seen really has. This film plays out more like a mystery thriller or a horror movie, than a traditional serial killer crime film. What’s more I love the version of 1880’s London this film presents us with, it is so teaming with life and even the littlest detail feels cared for, you feel like you’re there.

Johnny Depp is fantastic in this film, he is not wacky and over the top, a trait that would come to define his later work, but quiet, brooding and troubled. We buy him as the hero by the end of the film and we want to see him catch the Ripper, this film proves why Johnny Depp is such a unique star.

Overall, I applaud this film, I applaud it for revealing that the killings were never as simple as we thought they were, they weren’t just the work of one deranged man, but rather a vast conspiracy. I applaud it for it’s depiction of 1880’s London and I applaud it for being bold enough to label someone as Jack The Ripper.


The alternative take.

Johnny Depp.

The World.

Showing us a Jack The Ripper.


By the end the story is a bit convoluted.


Reviewed by Luke

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