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Ripper : Letter from Hell

"Jack the Ripper now has a copycat..."

Following the traumatism of loosing her group of friends during a brutal massacre of which she was the sole survivor, Molly steps foot into a new school. The last thing on her mind is to make new friends: those who try to approach her are quick to be insulted.

However, the murders start once more and a detective that has been following her since the first bloodbath becomes more and more present in the surroundings. The killer seems to be reconstructing, in his own manner, the murders that happened in London, 1888, by the one we know as Jack the Ripper.

The victims seem to be limited to the group of students frequented by Molly and suspects abound.





Each time that one of these slasher/murder mystery flicks is released, it is worse than all others that preceded it. The reason is clear: the producers tried to take a simple theme and transform it into something revolutionary. Here, an attempt is made to mix student habits, murders, intrigue and, sadly, philosophy. If it were limited to teenagers and murders, this film couldn’t have been any worse than Urban Legends with its never-ending love triangle.

The main character, Molly, is savage. Her traumatism is comprehensible but much too dominant. Between two swings of aggressive rebellion, we can almost catch her smiling because of the sweet words of one of the thirty guys interested in her. Then, she once again reveals her temper after getting rid of her artificial humour.

The students in Molly’s group are attractive, as much for the guys as for the girls. None of them is detailed and the film becomes a bit artificial while remaining pleasing and credible. The chemistry between them suffers the same fate. Their relations are never really explored but it is excusable if we refer to the fact that they are only a work group. The problem is that each death leaves us indifferent. Furthermore, so many characters are added to the intrigue here that we lose track of them all. In addition, most of them are only present to cover the tracks of any kind of evidence.

The locations chosen for the murders are well thought out but the pretexts are weak and the victims give us the impression of running like ants to the most sadistic of places, as if they truly wanted to die. Detective Kelso is without a doubt the most detestable of the suspects of his own investigation. He takes pleasure in leaving his fingerprints on murder weapons and being where the killer will be before any murders are committed. He constantly tries, in vain, to appear mysterious but it just doesn’t work.

The most positive aspect of this film is its artistic attempts. Whether it be on the sound or visual aspect, we are given here and there a special attention to detail. Once more, these efforts are spoiled because they are inappropriate. Fortunately, the budget and the actors enhance the general quality of the movie. They don’t succeed, however, in making something out of the final revelation other than a pile of turnarounds that have no other goal than to insult our intelligence.

Final Thoughts

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Memorables aspects
- A student dies in a sawmill, trapped between too large pieces of wood.
- A murder is committed one level above a rave and a dancer is showered with blood.
- Eddie traps his hand in his car’s hood before being crushed against a tree.

Memorables characters

Released in: 2001

Movie type: Horror - Slasher - Thriller

Films in similar category:
My Bloody Valentine
Cherry Falls

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( 2002-08-29 )  

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