1888 London the conditions were bad enough for the poor and
unfortunate residents of London's Whitechapel district. Terrorised
daily by gangs, prostitute Mary Kelly and her group of companions
are in serious danger after one of their flock is kidnapped
by Special Branch. One by one the girls are brutally mutilated.
The only person who can save them is Inspector Fred Abberline,
a police officer who is plagued by psychic visions...
Hell was mainly filmed in Prague, but for any Londoners
(myself included) the movie seems realistically set in old
London. The sets are breathtaking and the smoggy atmosphere
aspect that could have brought the whole production down on
its knees was the ability of the two American leads to successfully
pull off British accents (Cockney in the case of Depp). While
not totally convincing they do a pretty good job and at least
they didn't stoop to the depths that Dick Van Dyke did in
Coltrane seems to play himself, to great effect, as he always
does. And his dry dialogue helps to give this mainly dry movie
a sense of humour.
was one nit-pick I had during this film which I couldn't fathom.
There is a scene where one of the character's abode is decorated
with a painting of John Merrick (The Elephant Man) who is
strapped to a table and being examined by doctors. Later in
the movie we see Merrick and it is explained that he has just
been admitted to the hospital and that the week before he
was in a freak show. How then could the painting have been
completed and hung on the owners wall? It can't be the owner
who painted it, as when Merrick is unveiled he looks horrified
as though he has never seen him before. I'm guessing that
this section of the movie was edited into the wrong section
and that the owner of the painting painted it after seeing
Merrick for the first time.
ending is surprisingly not straight out of the happy Hollywood
book of endings and it is a welcome relief to see a movie
that doesn't have a happy heart warming conclusion. By the
way, the uncovering of the Ripper is convincing and his reasons
are well explained.
thoroughly enjoyable film that puts a nice spin on the Ripper