Who’s Jack the Ripper? The best movies and shows about the killer
The infamous legend of Jack the Ripper has resonated for over a century. He prowled the streets of London in the 1800s and splattered them bloodstained with the brutal murders of women.
Because the Ripper was never caught, it’s conceivable Jack could even be a woman, although authorities in that time rarely suspected women for such violent crimes. Modern-day statistics also support the idea that the Ripper was probably a male, not only because of his choice of victim (female prostitute), and method of killing, but because only about 16% of serial killers are female.
So for the sake of probability, we’ll continue referring to anonymous Jack as a male. From the killer’s untrackable letters to his gruesome slaying of prostitutes, people have been fascinated by this evil enigma. Jack’s Hellish exploits certainly make suitable fodder for horror movies and true crime shows alike. As such, the mystery surrounding this British serial killer has predictably spurred many shows and movies.
Who’s Jack the Ripper?
Although there are eleven murders suspected as being the handiwork of this gruesome killer, only five of the victims were officially declared to be the Ripper’s doing. Like we mentioned before, much about Jack the Ripper is completely unknown, including his identity. We know he haunted London’s East End, we know he had a thing for killing prostitutes, and we know there were letters sent to police in his “name”.
However, we don’t know if those letters really came from the Ripper himself and we don’t know whether the Ripper stopped killing of his own volition. In fact, we don’t even know if Jack the Ripper stopped killing at all because he was never caught! Some suspect Jack the Ripper moved to another area and continued killing, perhaps in a different fashion in order to avoid detection.
Others think that Jack the Ripper must have fallen ill or been apprehended by the police for another matter. People of this camp believe it would simply be too difficult for a serial to change his M.O. or stop killing on his own. After all, if those letters were really from him, he had much too much fun taunting the police to ever stop mid-murder spree.
There are so many blank spots in Jack the Ripper’s story that it’s absolutely ripe for the picking in the entertainment industry. The story of his devious murders will haunt the public’s dreams forever, especially through the immortalization of TV shows and movies.
Did you know Johnny Depp starred in a movie loosely based on Jack the Ripper? Well, he did. This 2001 r-rated slasher is based on the graphic novel From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Inspector Frederick Abberline, played by Johnny Depp, is a troubled police officer hell-bent on catching Jack the Ripper. His determination comes from the fact that he’s fallen in love with the Ripper’s next potential victim.
We describe Fred as a troubled person because he gains his insight in a rather unconventional way. The visions he gets while high on opium are what lead Fred on his mission.
This true-crime drama series takes place six months after the Ripper’s final murder. East London seems to be relatively peaceful again until a series of murders make the police’s H Division think Jack the Ripper might be back. Edmund Reid, a detective with a chip on his shoulder delves into the corrupt criminal underworld of Victorian London to find out. This show has five seasons so it’s prime bingewatching material.
Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)
Yes, even anime has jumped on the Jack the Ripper train one time or another. This show isn’t completely about Jack the Ripper, but Black Butler season one has an entire arc dedicated to the infamous case, and it’s worth checking out.
The main plot of Black Butler is as follows: When the young earl Ciel Phantomhive loses his family in a brutal murder, he sells his soul to a demon in exchange for demon’s help in avenging his family. Ciel takes over his deceased father’s job as the “queen’s watchdog” and is tasked with solving criminal cases that the queen deems especially important. It’s in this role that Ciel comes in contact with Jack the Ripper.
Jack the Ripper: The London Slasher
This 2016 thriller movie features a female photographer who dares play a game of cat and mouse with Jack the Ripper. Playing tag with an infamous serial killer is already not too wise. Throw in the fact that her brother is one of the prime suspects and the stakes jump three times higher. Fans describe this movie as having a very unique twist and say it’s well-worth the subtitle use since the movie is in German.
The Lodger: A Story of London Fog
This last feature we’d like to recommend to you is a 1927 silent movie classic. It was directed by none other than Alfred Hitchcock. In it, a landlady suspects one of her lodgers is the goon killing London women left and right. This silent thriller adaptation of the novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes is worth the watch if you’re into pre-talkie films.