Happy Halloween Eve, y’all! I had a number of subjects I contemplated centering tonight’s OT around–Alice from Resident Evil, the creepy old man/TV host from Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, or even the random musical number that happens in Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man–before finally settling on one of my favorites for the spooky season, 2004’s Van Helsing.
Van Helsing has something of a “divisive” reputation online, but I’ve always been a huge fan of it. Hugh Jackman kicks ass as the titular hero, Kate Beckinsale has a gloriously ridiculous Transylvanian accent, there’s NON-STOP action that never ceases to be exiting, and it has a ton of enjoyable special effects. It’s just FUN, working perfectly as a thrill ride while also serving as a love letter to the Universal Monster movies from the 30s and 40s.
Also, David Wenham is absolutely hilarious in this movie. Best known for playing the far more serious Faramir in The Lord of the Rings, here he gets to essentially be the Q to Jackman’s monster hunter Bond. He’s delightful
Van Helsing kicked off the summer movie season in 2004. It did okay business, but Universal and others were overestimating how much a Halloween-themed actioner would perform in May (they were expecting it to do numbers similar to Jackman’s other big franchise at the time), so it was viewed at the time as a financial disappointment. Still, the film has gradually gotten a loyal fanbase over time, with many embracing it for the silly extravaganza that it is.
Happy posting, y’all! And if you do hate this movie, please don’t hate me…