Van Helsing, directed by Stephen Sommers, follows the titular character as he fights Dracula, the Wolf-Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster. The horror movie is both tribute and homage to the classic Universal Horror movies, as well as the original books.
The plot is as follows—Dracula—played by Richard Roxburgh—commissioned Dr. Frankenstein to create a creature to power a machine that would bring to life the children of Dracula and his brides. They’re nasty little monsters birthed by the hundreds and would destroy all human life. Enter Van Helsing—played by Hugh Jackman—sent by the Vatican to save the souls of the Valerious family. Their ancestor swore they’d not enter heaven until Dracula was killed, and there are only two members of the family left. There’s also a mysterious link between the amnesiac Van Helsing and Dracula. And oh yes, they have to figure out how to finally kill Dracula.
2—Great Soundtrack, Terrible Accents
The soundtrack of Van Helsing, composed by Alan Silvestri, is big and bold, bombastic even (which is why I like it). The accents are all terrible, particularly Anna Valerious’s—played by Kate Beckinsale—but it’s all in good fun. Much of the dialog is tongue-in-cheek, so it’s possible the accents were deliberate. Sommers does like to make fun of tropes.
3—The Look is a Mixed Bag
The special effects in Van Helsing are mostly fantastic. Two of my favorite scenes are when a painting comes to life, and the whole ballroom sequence. Speaking of the ballroom scene, the stunts and costumes are all fabulous. My Hyde—of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, whom Van Helsing fights early in the movie before going to Transylvania—is really, really CGI, very shiny.
Van Helsing is not a great movie, but it is a fun one. My favorite character is Carl—played by David Wenham—who, in his own words is “a genius with access to unstable chemicals.” He’s basically the Vatican’s Q (from the Bond films , not Star Trek—that would’ve been a very different movie). I loved the movie, despite it’s flaws.