How Accurate Is Johnny Depp's Jack The Ripper Film From Hell?

(Contains spoilers for the movie "From Hell.")

Thrillers and horror are two of the most popular genres in the film industry. The 2001 movie "From Hell' combined them both to produce a historical suspense/slasher type film that would scare audiences but also make them think. The film is based on a graphic novel of the same name, according to Casebook. The graphic novel is in turn based on a novel by British journalist Stephen Knight, called "Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution."

The film follows Inspector Frederick Abberline (Johnny Depp) as he attempts to discover the identity of Jack the Ripper, according to IMDb. The serial killer has been wreaking havoc in 1888 London, murdering sex workers at will. While investigating, Abberline crosses paths with sex worker Mary Kelly (Heather Graham), and the two form a romantic bond while hunting this unknown murderer. Along the way, Abberline discovers ties between the evidence and various factions of the higher-ups of British society, including the police, the aristocracy, and the medical community. The race is on to catch the killer before he turns Mary Kelly or another unsuspecting woman into his next victim.

According to History, Jack the Ripper was a real serial killer in England who killed and mutilated at least five women between August and September of 1888. It's also true that the identity of the killer still remains a mystery more than a century later. Additionally, the characters of Inspector Abberline and Mary Kelly were also real people, with Kelly being Jack the Ripper's final victim, per Jack-The-Ripper.

Drugs, royalty, and secret societies?

Though there are characters in the film who did really exist, most of the similarities stop there. Casebook says that in some ways, the film "swerved dramatically from the facts." For starters, the book that inspired the graphic novel is said to be full of fabrications, which were repeated in the graphic novel and, therefore, the movie. However, there are two big discrepancies that stand out the most.

The first is Inspector Abberline being portrayed as an opium addict who used drug-induced visions to help him search for Jack the Ripper. There is no historical evidence to support that Abberline did drugs or had psychic visions. The other difference revolves around who was involved in the murders and who knew each other. In the movie, all of the murdered sex workers were friends, despite there being nothing historically to support that. Additionally, the film mentions Prince Albert Victor and the Freemasons as being involved, or as the potential murderer. Prince Albert and the Freemasons were also real, but there have been absolutely no ties between them and the Jack the Ripper murders. It's details like these that call into serious question the accuracy of "From Hell" — perhaps entertaining, but certainly not a history lesson.