Today: June 16, 2024

Van Helsing

It was panned by the critics. Nominated for several Stinkers Bad Movie awards. Yet, it grossed over $300 million and has gone on to become a cult-classic, with rumours of a reboot upcoming. So, Fabulous Films’ new 2-disc DVD and blu-ray is a timely reissue.

Stuffed to the gills with movie references—including a glorious take on James Whale’s Frankenstein in the opening sequence—2004’s Van Helsing is Stephen Sommers’ love letter to those Universal monster movies of yore.

Hugh Jackman, as Van Helsing, has an effortless charm that breezes through the cheesiest of lines (and there are plenty). Kate Beckinsale wears skin tight leather. And David Wenham delivers a well-judged light touch to his role as comic-relief sidekick.

But despite the well-worn tropes, and the frankly terrible Romanian accents, Van Helsing is a winner. A genuine slice of nostalgia, upgraded with some striking monster re-designs, and laced with enough tension and humor to keep the plot rolling along. No, there aren’t any surprises, but sometimes all you want is a good classic monster movie, and Van Helsing is just that.

Both DVD and blu-ray releases include a disc of extras including feature commentary  with Richard Roxburgh, Shuler Hensley and Will Kemp. 

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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