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Ripper: Letter from Hell Review (2001)

My History With the Film:
Ripper: Letter from Hell caught my eye while working at Blockbuster. It was one of the tapes that we only got one copy of and was clearly a low-budget affair, but the cover art intrigued me. I got around to renting it sometime in 2001 and was shocked by how much I actually enjoyed the film. I was expecting a low budget piece of trash, but this film is shockingly solid.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
The survivor of a massacre takes a class on serial killers as her classmates become victims to a Jack the Ripper copycat.

What I Liked About It:
-I’m a huge fan of AJ Cook’s early 2000’s work. Before she was known for starring on Criminal Minds, she was showing up in Out Cold, Final Destination 2, Dead Like Me, and Tru Calling. She also starred in an episode of Goosebumps and in Wishmaster 3. Ripper is one of the movies that made me really love her work.

-Bruce Payne (Marshall Kane) is amazing in this film. He steals the show almost from the start and it’s a shame that the story didn’t play through his eyes.
-The kills are decent, stylish, and give off that late 90’s slasher feel. The movie is somewhat self-aware which always pleases me.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The pacing of this film is just horrible. It takes forever to get going and too much time is used setting up everyone to possibly be the killer.

Additional Notes:
-The death of Mary Kelly’s roommate Ada was toned down in order to avoid a NC-17 rating.

-The sail boat Molly is the “Mary Kelly” reference back to a Ripper victim.

-A.J. Cook (Molly), Emmanuelle Vaugier (Andrea), and Daniella Evangelista (Mary-Anne) were all in Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell.

I was prepared to write some magna opus about the greatness that is Ripper Letter from Hell but then I rewatched it. This movie did not age well at all. What was once a fantastic direct-to-DVD slasher film is not merely a slow, test in patience. The film looks stylish and some great care was taken in orchestrating the death scenes, but ultimately the movie falls flat and is not something I could recommend.

I rate Ripper at two out of five and say skip it.

Published inHorrorMovies

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