Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The fantasy film that I couldn’t stop watching during my childhood and that I don’t understand why it’s not available on any streaming platform: Van Helsing

It first aired in 2004 with Hugh Jackman as the protagonist.

Remember I talked to you recently about Underworld? Well, continuing with the vampire theme, something occurred to me today Van Helsing. This 2004 film combines Fantasy and horror to introduce us to the famous hunter, a character we had already seen in other films such as Dracula. Here it received a much more spectacular vision full of action, which made it quite impressive for a girl like me at the time. However, I was very sad when I tried to search for it on an online platform. Streaming and I saw that it was nowhere. It was a fantastic film with many merits that I want to talk about today.

Who is Van Helsing?

Van Helsing is a fictional character who appears in Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula. He is a vampire hunter portrayed in the 1993 film by Anthony Hopkins. In this version, however, we find a much younger, athletic protagonist with a much more developed past, but also linked to the vampire, played by Hugh Jackman.

Therefore, this hunter dedicates himself to hunting the various monsters (some are known as Jekyll) until he is sent to Romania to help the Valerius family, who are wiped out in their attempt kill Dracula. There are only two left, Ana and Velkan, but if they fail their mission his family cannot rest in heaven, so he must intervene to defeat the vampire and his minions.

Van Helsing is a mix of the famous Hollywood monsters. We find Dŕacula, Jekyll, but also a plot that has to do with the creation of Frankstein’s monster. So we find a lot of fantastic elements that not only have to do with bloodsuckers, but above all a lot of spectacularity in the fight against enemies. Jackman embodies the typical protagonist who can perform all kinds of stunts, strong and competent, he is also accompanied by a supporting character who acts as comic relief and Ana, Kate Beckinsale, who we just saw in Underworld. Richard Roxburgh joins the cast as the Count, bringing his trademark personal touch to the role.

A mix of fantastic elements

Essentially, “Van Helsing” is a film for a family audience that, while having a horror theme, is driven by action and fantasy. It’s not a particularly violent or gory film, not any more than it needs to be. It lasts just over two hours and offers us a little bit of everything: humor, action, mystery, horror, romance… The truth is that the film was supposed to be the start of a series of films, but the bad reviews led to that it only stayed with the first part. Grown up approximately 300 million dollars Theater box office.

And it’s true that today there are even more details that show the passage of time, such as the special effects. The three vampires They are very famous, but any scenes where they are transformed or even the werewolf moments seem quite artificial. As for the positive points, I think it captures the essence of classic monsters very well, Jackman is a good protagonist and there are pretty interesting tense moments. Additionally, some parts of the soundtrack like “Journey to Transylvania” are also very worthwhile.

It should be noted that this film bears a fairly close resemblance to The Mummy and that is no coincidence. The director Stephen Sommers invented this story after completing the second part of the saga starring Brendan Fraser, but it seems that he did not find the same essence that triumphed in the previous part.

With all this, the truth is that I really regretted not finding it anywhere, either because I saw it when I was little and it wasn’t very sophisticated, or because time saved it with a little more love. It’s clear that not all fantasy films can be The Lord of the Rings, but this one was quite entertaining and maintained the vampire fashion of the late 1990s and early 2000s in a different way.

I remember some scenes, like the opening scene with the black and white mill, being quite powerful. The transformations into a wolf, the masquerade part or the revelation of the main secret surrounding Van Helsing’s memory were moments that worked well. Maybe it’s time to give it a try, although we’ll have to wait a bit to see if it’s available.

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Nation World News Desk
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