And you thought this was going to be social ethics.
I’ve already screwed up the order of these topics, but I thought I’d save the shortest for last.
From Hell was released in 2001, directed and produced by the Hughes Brothers. They had previously directed such films as Dead Presidents, American Pimp, and Menace II Society. The film is a bit uncharacteristic for them, and it comes out in the pacing and coherence of the movie. While it touches on topics related to some of their other films (several of the characters being prostitutes), the fantastic/spiritual aspect of the movie makes it much more than their standard social commentary.
An 122-Minute Non-Sequitur
From Hell is based off of Alan Moore’s graphic novel of the same name. I say based off of in the sense that it uses Moore’s book like a trampoline to jump into an abyss of seemingly random scenes. …I retract that, that’s a little extreme. It only feels that way because one of the biggest questions of the narrative remains unanswered in various aspects. That questions is simply “why?”- why does Sir William Gull undergo an apparent demonic possession without an explanation? Why does Frederick Abberline suffer visions of the future with no reason as to why they started in the first place? It seems the common theme of this film is utter confusion. It fancies itself a nightmare, attempting to emulate that feeling you get after a horrifying dream shocks you into a hyperventilating cold sweat, and the only question that comes to mind was “ What was that?” However, as I watched the movie it began to switch from leading towards a thrilling conclusion to a dull ending that was over before I could register if anything that happened was of consequence. An even bigger question to me than “why did this happen?” was “why did I sit through 122 minutes of a movie that was incoherent?”
Go read Alan Moore’s novel if you prefer feeling informed over confused.
- ► 2011 (11)