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With many successful predecessors in the paranormal horror genre such as Interview with the Vampire (1994) and Underworld (2003), Van Helsing (2004) was a surprising action movie that to this day still holds its ground. Still relatively known from the X-Men franchise, actor Hugh Jackman plays the character of the vigilante monster hunter Van Helsing, who is directly inspired by a character from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing. However, this 2004 version is much younger and hotter if you ask me.

The first time I saw this movie I was around seven years old and I was already a huge fan of monster movies, particularly those about vampires. However, it was so confusing to see characters such as Dracula interacting with Frankenstein, and even werewolves. Although it was a bizarre arrangement of characters, it all worked well. We could even say it was an ambitious project wanting to unite an array of characters in a way never seen before (way ahead of you MCU, ha).

Van Helsing was directed by Stephen Sommers, who is also known for the making of the other hugely successful action horror movies The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001). Sommers’s style from The Mummy is evident in Van Helsing through the action sequences that have Jackman jumping from dangerous heights and facing monsters in every corner– not to mention the passionate exchanges between Helsing and Anna Valerious. Don’t forget that one scene where the heroine is kidnapped by the villain and there is some questionable seduction that leads to the evil master plan. The film became the third movie by Stephen Sommers that would be a remake and homage to the films of the Universal Horror Monster films that ranged from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. These originally took inspiration from works of literature, such as The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, Dracula by Bram Stoker, among others.

 

I have a biased view of this movie, maybe because of my young amazement from when I first saw it, my love for monsters, and Hugh Jackman. For me, it is one of the best movies of my childhood, even though it holds a 23% score on Rotten Tomatoes and 6 out of 10 stars in IMDb. However, I think that its mix of intrigue, action sequences, romance, and horror make it a great movie to watch whenever you have the Halloween vibes. Regardless of the critics, I think it is a great reinterpretation of classic characters who otherwise would not have been together in a film that ends on a bittersweet note. It may have its few things that make no sense or are a bit over the top, but it holds something captivating that still calls for you to see it.

 

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I'm Jennifer. Addicted reader, and lover of books. I'm a full-time college student majoring in English Literature with aspirations of being a professional editor. Among other things. In the meantime, I obsess over books, history, art, and politics. I believe in freedom of speech and reading whatever you want. ?
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