Set in 19th Century London, the Hughes brothers' From Hell is a dramatic retelling of the story of Jack the Ripper. Depp plays Fred Abberline, an opium-puffin', clairvoyant police detective, asked to solve the murder of a prostitute. His superiors may doubt his ability, but Abberline soon realises that the murder has the hallmarks of a serial killer. With his sturdy partner in tow, Sergeant Godley (Robbie Coltrane), Abberline sets about bringing whoever is responsible to justice. Inventive and extremely atmospheric, there's much to enjoy in From Hell on a purely visceral level, as the directorial siblings have an impressive number of visual tics at their disposal. Shot in wide-screen expanse, the camerawork lends an unrelenting gloom to the proceedings, helped by the beautiful and eerie production values. Admittedly, the outcome is never really in much doubt - this is Jack the Ripper - but for the most part, the Hughes' maintain an admirable level of tension. Indeed, their only failing is that sometimes they try to do too much by attempting to blend melodrama, comedy and horror in the space of a few frames. Oh, and Heather Graham's rather bad in it. Still, impressive stuff.
Review by Garreth Murphy | 09:00 | Monday 11th February 2002 | Movie Review