Parents' Guide to

From Hell

By Sarah Wenk, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Gruesome, predictable Jack the Ripper retelling.

Movie R 2001 121 minutes
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Kids say (3 ):

Depp gives a typically strong performance, though From Hell is often predictable and it sometimes feels as if the plot is simply a vehicle to get from one horrific murder scene to the next. There are also too many scenes where mistaken identity is the key to the scare -- for example, someone in a big black cloak sneaks into a room accompanied by ominous music, but it turns out not to be the Ripper but a police officer. This is repeated so often that after a while it simply doesn't work anymore.

The film is beautifully directed and shot, giving an uncomfortably real sense of life in the lowest strata of society, and the version of events presented in the film is intriguing, though not strictly historical. Viewers who aren't in a state of shock after viewing all the murders might want to do some reading about the actual Ripper case and the various solutions to it that have been posited over the years.

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