In the comic miniseries:
- Broken Base: William Gull's visions of the future and the past towards the end of the story. Up until that point the comic maintains a realistic tone, and Gull's various speeches on London's occult history and geography can simply be interpreted as something the character believes in. But the visions add an supernatural element to the story that can't be explained away. While this sort of supernatural stuff is in accordance with Alan Moore's own occult beliefs, some readers felt that it adds a needlessly distracting element to a story that otherwise tries to portray the Jack the Ripper murders and Victorian London as realistically as possible.
- Nausea Fuel:
- Some sections are hard to get through, due to the intense combination of Eddie Campbell's artwork and Moore's disturbing subject matter. An entire chapter is devoted to a graphically detailed dissection of a corpse.
- Neil Gaiman once related an anecdote at a con in which Moore described such a scene to him. While he was eating. Halfway through the meal. Gaiman had to step outside not once but twice during the conversation to get some air, which led to Moore nicknaming him Neil "Scary Trousers" Gaiman, Master of Modern Horror.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The comic isn't remotely subtle about its criticisms of the way sex workers and poor people in general were (and, by implication, still are) treated, nor does it need to be.
- Unexpected Character: Being set in Victorian Britain, one could logically expect Sir William Gull, Frederick Abberline, Queen Victoria, Walter Sickert and the rest of the bunch to appear. But let's be honest: who seriously expected Alois and Klara Hitler to play a role (however brief) in this book?
- The Woobie:
- The chapter isn't called The Unfortunate Mr Druitt for nothing.
- All of the prostitutes and victims are this. They are forced into their line of work because of abject poverty and are subject to rape, violence and can't turn to the church or the police for help because they are looked down upon as less than human; and then they start being killed off because of something that had nothing to do with them. It says something that it took Jack the Ripper's killings to bring attention to their appalling living conditions and exploitation.
In the movie:
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In the end, is Abberline's death from opium overdose just an accident, or does he kill himself because he can't ever see Mary again?
- Les Yay: Between multiple characters.
- Narm: The chief morgue attendant's general overreaction to the state of the prostitutes mangled bodies, especially when Abberline points out that the killer is stealing their organs. Looking at dead bodies in various degrees of mutilation has been his job for at least a few decades; surely he'd be used to this sort of stuff by now?!?
- Retroactive Recognition: Stacey from Gavin and Stacey plays Ann.