From Hell (2001)
Loosely based on the events surrounding the Jack the Ripper murders in the late 19th century, Johnny Depp stars as Inspector Abberline who was in charge of investigating the murders. I know I don’t normally like to outwardly compare two films, but when 2 films are so similar, and one is good and the other isn’t, then I will compare and contrast them… as I will do now. From Hell and Sleepy Hollow are two films set in the 19th century, separated by only a couple of decades. Sleepy Hollow takes place in America and is based on the famous legend of the Headless Horseman while From Hell takes place in London and surrounds the “Jack the Ripper” murders. Both movies star Johnny Depp as the lead investigator to the murders and both roles require him to be a tad naive. Depp has a leading lady that he falls for in each; Christina Ricci in Sleepy Hollow and Heather Graham in From Hell. Ricci was more impressive, but then again it doesn’t make much to make Heather Graham look like a whore. Both movies showcase plenty of blood, but the blood is more predominant in Sleepy Hollow compared to the smokey white contrast it gives as a background. Being a creation of Tim Burton, Sleepy Hollow is presented in more of a “beautiful gothic” classification, like Batman Returns, where as From Hell doesn’t glamorize the setting, but creates a dark and dingy atmosphere, allowing the red blood to mix in with the London scenery. The question of quality comes from the story itself, Sleepy Hollow, as already reviewed, allows the audience to discover more and more about the horseman as the movie goes along where as From Hell is just death after death without giving much of a clue about who is the culprit. I know I am bias to Tim Burton and his films, however, I strongly believe that Burton DID make From Hell… and it was called Sleepy Hollow before the Hughs brothers slapped a new name on it! Co-starring Ian Holm, Ian Richardson, Jason Flemyng and Robbie Coltrane.
6/10 Stars – Everything I liked about it you can find in Sleepy Hollow… everything I didn’t… well, just watch Sleepy Hollow!
Click below for links to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes