Juan Carlos Medina directs Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy and Douglas Booth in this Victorian-era sleuther where an outsider detective tries to find an elusive killer who may be a famous man of his times.
I went to the cinema to see this at the cinema on release, dozed on-and-off through the first act then left for my bed and wrote it off. That was a mistake as there is clearly a lot to appreciate here. Almost too much. This adaptation is as indebted to Alan Moore’s unwieldy From Hell as it is Peter Ackroyd’s source material novel. It shares the haphazard overkill of both works. Media drowning in footnotes and distracting stubs. Olivia Cooke and Douglas Booth are both noteworthy as shady but vulnerable theatre types. If anything their musical hall meets Grand Guignol performances are the juiciest sections. The very bad murder stuff pushes the gore envelope. Who doesn’t want to see a mangled penis at the start of your Christmas stay at Mum and Dad’s house?
Perfect Double Bill: From Hell (2001)
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