Review: Van Helsing (2004)

Overview:

I was told about two weeks ago to write a review that is Halloween oriented. Well I pondered over it and found nothing, but on a lonely Saturday night with nothing to do and no where to go, I turned on the T.V. and bam! Van Helsing. This movie has everything going for it concerning Halloween too bad I’m a little late. With the story set in the time frame of all the original baddies of horror, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.

Story:

Written and Directed by Stephen Sommers, the story presented is amazingly detailed. Van Helsing is based off of the character Abraham Van Helsing from Bram Stokers novel Dracula. The story begins with a black and white intro involving the late Dr. Frankenstein and his life’s work, along with Dracula and his bride trying to obtain something. This intro is meant to confuse you and wrap you into the story. Following the intro, you meet Van Helsing (Jackman) and start to understand his character. He is a sort of monster hunter for the Knights of the Holy Order. He kills Mr. Hyde in Paris and returns to the Vatican for his next mission.

He gets a briefing of his next mission, and then meets with his engineer monk and they are sent off to Transylvania in search of Dracula. Meanwhile, Anna Valerius (Beckinsale), is working on killing a Wolf Man and her brother unfortunately gets bit in the action and becomes a more prominent character later in the movie.

Van Helsing makes it into the gothic town and meets the town people and Valerius. After a quick chat about how he should leave the brides of Dracula attack and he has to show them what he can do. He also uses a gattling gun/crossbow which kind of baffles me. They end up joining forces and search for a way to destroy Dracula. (I leave the rest for you to find out, I would rather have you watch it.)

Review:

The two points i would like to address the most about the movie are the how well each of the horror characters are meshed to form a well made story and the visual effects of the movie.

The horror characters keep their traditional roots as well as get some added bonuses to keep this story fresh. The way Sommers changed their personalities suits the purposes of the movie quite well. The only flaw that I recognized was in Frankenstein’s character as I am a fan of the original, written by Mary Shelley. Most people seem to perceive the monster as a slow moving lump of several men, but in reality it was more gracile, kind of like what you would perceive as the wolf man.

The Special Effects add to the quality of the movie and help the action scenes maintain their intensity. There never seems to be a short fight when it comes to this movie either, and it fulfills all my wants when it comes to action. The CG in the movie is astounding considering it came out four years ago. It even seems to be on par with a movie such as Iron Man although not as smooth or detailed but notably good. The CG also helps with the mood of the gothic style this movie portrays. I would like to mention how awesomely Sommers envisioned the werewolf transformations.

Final Words:

Pros

  • Horror Characters stories are well meshed with the story of the movie
  • High Intensity action scenes
  • Kate Beckinsale
  • Amazing CG

Cons

  • Some silly accents but can add to the tone
  • Somewhat longer Movie
  • Beckinsale needs to wear less clothing, if any all

Score:

Overall: 8.75/10 (Great)
Video Quality: 8.5/10 (Intense action scenes and awesome visual effects.)
Audio Quality: 8.5/10 (Matrix style of music somewhat dampens gothic mood but done well)
Concept: 9.0/10 (Taking a ton of classic monsters and mixing them together in an action how can you go wrong.)
Execution: 9.0 (Well made and doesn’t miss a beat, its all smooth and although the characters are taken out of their original stories, this mix is made well.

3 thoughts on “Review: Van Helsing (2004)


  1. I have one question for you, Patricker, why?

    Why isn’t Kate naked? That’s the best point you brought up in this review. It just makes no since XD.

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