WHAT IS IT?
From Hell is the 2001 Johnny Depp-starring movie adaptation of an Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell comic of the same name. Depp played the role of Police Inspector Abberline, the lead investigator in the Whitechapel murders which were committed by notorious killer Jack the Ripper.
The movie also starred Robbie Coltrane, Heather Graham and Ian Holm, amongst a cast of very recognisable British actors. From Hell was the first film adapted from a story by Alan Moore (later adaptations would include League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), V for Vendetta (2006) and Watchmen (2009)); something which Moore was less than enthusiastic about.
Upon release From Hell recieved mixed reviews however it earned a box office haul of over $74 million from a budget of $35 million, making it a hit!
WHAT WAS GOOD?
As a gruesome and atmospheric horror, From Hell works very well. The rain soaked streets of Victorian London were the perfect location for the bloody events that transpired and all of the cast gave credible performances, particularly Coltrane as Sergeant Godley and Lesley Sharp as prostitute Kate Eddows. Ian Holm was on fine form (as always) and Johnny Depp was... well he was Johnny Depp, no more needs to be said.
Particular highlights included the appearance of Joseph 'John' Merrick and Abberline's failed attempt to stop the final murder.
WHAT WAS BAD?
Despite the Hughes Brothers' best efforts to create an engaging 'who dunnit?' it was pretty obvious from the beginning who the killer of the film was, undercutting the shock of the final reveal. If you haven't seen From Hell I will not spoil the mystery, however chances are you'll figure it out for yourself very quickly.
WHY PUSH THE BUTTON?
Why indeed? Well, for some, From Hell (like many movie adaptations of Moore's work) differed from the original source material and was therefore seen as a less than brilliant take on the comic. For other movie goers, From Hell was a perfectly effective gothic horror that explored a particularly dark period in Victorian history. Either way, From Hell was a highly enjoyable movie, with good performances which kept it on track during the slower moments.