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Van Helsing

The One Name They All Fear 

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Van Helsing

Hugh Jackman is Gabriel Van Helsing, a professional monster-killer, out to stop all manner of evil creatures in this cracker of a monster-mash movie. His latest mission takes him on the trail of Count Dracula (Roxburgh), who is trying to find the secret of Frankenstein's Monster so that he may use it to bring to life his offspring, borne by his three vampire brides. To aid him with this fiendish plan, he enlists the help of various monsters, but Van Helsing also has accomplices, in the shape of sidekick friar Carl (Wenham) and Anna Valerious (Beckinsale), one of the last surviving Valerious family members, out to remove a family curse.

There have been countless efforts uniting various cinematic monsters, but Van Helsing manages to include the biggest selection yet. There's the main baddie, Count Dracula and his brides, Doctor Frankenstein, his Monster and assistant Igor, the Wolf Man, and Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde, who, just in case two personalities aren't enough, seems to believe he is also the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

CGI has become a vital part of film-making in the past decade, and Van Helsing is a prime example of what it is capable of. A massive range of beasts feature in this film, and to see each created with care and attention to detail, thus giving real character, is a treat. And the humans aren't bad either!

Jackman puts in another steady performance, showing off yet again his ability to lead an action film - throwing himself about and proving a handy shot, all the time with a wry sense of humour. Perhaps he was using Van Helsing as an audition tape for the Bond producers...? Indeed, there is one scene between Jackman and Wenham so reminiscent of Bond that you almost expect Wenham's technically sophisticated sidekick to say "Now pay attention, 007" as he introduces a range of gadgets and weapons. Beckinsale holds her own against Jackman as a Transylvanian warrioress, but it's Roxburgh's decidedly camp Dracula who steals the show with his exaggerated dramatic performance.

Don't miss this opportunity to see one of the best monster films in recent years!

Alex Coe

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)