From Hell (2001)

Yesterday was my birthday and as the fiance was unfortunately working nights, I spent the evening on my own. Which, if I’m completely honest, was kind of nice. I got to eat what I wanted, spend as long as I wanted in the bath and most importantly, I had sole control of the television set.

So when From Hell popped up in my TiVo suggestions, I decided to give it a go. Let me start by saying, I am not really a fan of Johnny Depp. He’s pretentious and currently in the midst of a mid-life crisis, which is making him highly unlikeable: aka his marriage to Amber Heard. However, his performances are always spot-on and he has made some reasonably good films, which made this seem like a pretty good gamble.

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Basically, for anyone who hasn’t seen it (is there anyone left?), From Hell is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore. Frank Abberline is a psychic police officer in 19th century London, brought in to solve the case of Jack the Ripper. Heather Graham is Mary Kelly, historically the last of the murdered prostitutes.

Its highly stylized in comparison with other films of the era, and it boasts a cast who were popular that year and few up-and-comers i.e. Jason Flemyng and Joanna Page. In fact, I loved the attention to detail in the bath scene. The absinthe bottle would look good on my bookcase.

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The English accents are pretty decent, which leads me to believe that they had an excellent vocal coach. Of course, we all know Depp can do a respectable accent. The plot is fine. Which is a bit bland, I know, but it’s nothing exciting and let’s face it, these types of films don’t often stand the test of time. Pre-Pirates of the Caribbean Depp offers a more nuanced performance as Abberline. Graham, is as always, sub-par. I do quite like her in daft roles but she’s not meant for serious acting. The characters feel underdeveloped, I didn’t really care if they lived or died.

I think, perhaps I watched this film too long after its release to appreciate it. That being said, it wasn’t bad. It kept me entertained, mostly, and it was nice to see a young, less nuts Johnny Depp.

From Hell was consumed in conjunction with Aldi Chocoer Belgian Chocolate Seashells available from £1.99.

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