Review: Van Helsing (2004)


Directed by: Stephen Sommers | 130 minutes | action, horror, thriller, adventure, fantasy | Actors: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham, Elena Anaya, Will Kemp, Kevin J. O’Connor, Alun Armstrong, Silvia Colloca, Josie Maran, Shuler Hensley, Tom Fisher, Samuel West, Robbie Coltrane, Stephen Fisher

The blockbuster season opens with the monster movie “Van Helsing” and what a blockbuster! It is a grandiose film that takes you to the dark Transylvania where Count Dracula and his brides have been terrorizing a town for years.
Van Helsing is a vampire hunter who is summoned by the Vatican to take on Count Dracula and his brides. Van Helsing and his assistant go to Transylvania where he meets the beautiful Anna. A curse rests on her and her family that can only be lifted if Dracula is killed. The three of them go into battle.

Director Stephen Sommers has brought the three classic monsters together for this horror spectacle. He also wrote the screenplay and mixed all three classic stories together and turned it into a big spectacle, starring Hugh Jackman. This Australian actor performs an excellent Van Helsing who is quite adventurous. At his side we see the beautiful actress Kate Beckinsale, who has previously been surrounded by werewolves and vampires in “Underworld” (2003). Their opponent Count Dracula is now played by Richard Roxburgh. Although his Dracula does not compete with, for example, Christopher Lee and Gary Oldman, he plays his part well.

As in his previous films “The Mummy” (1999) and “The Mummy Returns” (2001), Stephen Sommers also makes good use of computer effects. For example, we see Dracula and his brides change shapes a number of times and people turn into wolves. Sommers also has a hand in reviving old horror classics, he has already brought the mummy back to the silver screen and now Count Dracula and co.

This time undoubtedly also with great success, because “Van Helsing” is a great spectacle that is full of action and humor, but just like “The Mummy” it never gets scary. Although the story is not a tour de force, the film does provide at least two hours of entertainment.