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.