Summer Film Series – Vol. 2, No. 6: VAN HELSING
July 8th at Movies Seven, Sherman, TX (price of ticket: $1.00)
First let me say, I was apprehensive about seeing this film because I don’t do horror and I prefer to not be frightened. pause a beat HAHAHAHA!!! You know there’s something terribly wrong when the best moments of a film are the end titles.
There is nothing scary about Van Helsing. Not one thing. Grotesque, yes. Schizophrenic, certainly. But not scary. It was laughable, it was so not scary. And that’s just plain sad.
I had heard that the director wanted to make a modern tribute to the old Universal monster movies (Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.), and it sounded like a great idea. I failed to take into account that this writer/director also made the Mummy movies starring Brendan Fraser. This must be taken into account. Much as I love The Mummy and its sequel, it just wasn’t working here. Van Helsing is mostly just silly. It doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, which is a credit, but it still takes itself a little seriously, which works against it. It took me over an hour to really find any enjoyment in the story as I was constantly trying to determine how to “take” the film. When I finally just tried to follow the story (such as it was), I found small moments of enjoyment. Although my most anticipated enjoyment was Will Kemp (he of the sexy Gap commercials of 2003), and he just wasn’t featured enough, as himself instead of a CGI werewolf, to be anything other than disturbing.
In the end, the only thing I truly liked about the movie was Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Van Helsing. He seemed to keep a glint in his eye – a wink, if you will – and fully embraced the role. Watching him play was a treat. One of the only treats in the movie. Except those cool end titles, of course.