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All circumstantial evidence is conjecture.
on 12 June 2011
A Study in Terror is directed by James Hill and written by Derek and Donald Ford. Based on characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle, it stars John Neville, Donald Houston, John Fraser, Anthony Quale, Frank Finlay and Adrienne Corri. Music is by John Scott and cinematography by Desmond Dickinson. Out of Compton Films it's an Eastman Color production. Plot pitches intrepid sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Neville) against notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper.
On paper it's a filmic match made in heaven, two characters as well known as they are invariably different. One a great work of fiction, the other infamously true and dastardly. Yet the story is flat, not that it doesn't lack for quality in execution, it just lacks any suspense or dramatic verve to fully make it worthy of further visits. Cast are mostly very good, especially Neville, who makes for a lithe and autocratic Holmes, while Alex Vetchinsky's sets are period supreme. The Eastman Color, too, is a plus point, British horror always tended to have a better sheen to it in the Eastman Color lenses, so it be here for the dark deeds played out in Whitechapel, London, 1888. But ultimately, and in spite of it being an intelligent spin on the Ripper legend, story doesn't play out well enough to make it a classic of either the Ripper or Holmes cinema adaptations. 6/10