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"VAN HELSING"
(2004) (Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme *Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Extreme None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Mild Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A legendary but misunderstood killer of all things supernatural travels to Transylvania to battle werewolves, vampires and Count Dracula.
PLOT:
It's the 19th century and Gabriel Van Helsing (HUGH JACKMAN) is a misunderstood loner. With no memory of his past, he's employed by a secret organization to protect humanity by battling and/or killing all things supernatural. After a rough encounter with Mr. Hyde (ROBBIE COLTRANE), he's dispatched to Transylvania.

It seems that the Valerious family - that's worked for the secret organization for centuries- is down to just siblings Anna (KATE BECKINSALE) and Velkan (WILL KEMP) and desperately needs help battling the local vampires.

Little do they know that the head of them, Count Vladislaus Dracula (RICHARD ROXBURGH), was secretly working with Dr Victor Frankenstein (SAMUEL WEST) and his assistant Igor (KEVIN J O'CONNOR) regarding bringing the undead to life. Ever since the latter perished in a blaze started by upset villagers, Dracula has been on the prowl for Frankenstein's Monster (SHULER HENSLEY), believing him to be the key to his ongoing experiments.

Accompanied by weapons specialist Carl (DAVID WENHAM), a friar who states that he's not a field man, Van Helsing arrives in Transylvania and immediately sets out to accomplish his mission. As he joins forces with Anna in trying to save Velkan who was bitten by a werewolf while saving her, Van Helsing must deal with such creatures as well as Dracula and his trio of vicious, flying mates, Aleera (ELENA ANAYA), Verona (SILVIA COLLOCA) and Marishka (JOSIE MARAN).

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or action/adventure films featuring classic Hollywood monsters, they most likely will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For nonstop creature action violence and frightening images, and for sensuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HUGH JACKMAN plays an apparently immortal loner who can't remember his past but is proficient in battling all things supernatural. He sets out to find and kill Dracula and his brood.
  • KATE BECKINSALE plays a rough and ready princess who wants to save her brother and continue her family tradition of battling vampires.
  • RICHARD ROXBURGH plays Count Dracula who wants Van Helsing dead, Anna as his new bride, and is trying to jolt life into his offspring that have been born dead.
  • DAVID WENHAM plays the secret organization's weapons specialist who unwillingly travels with Van Helsing to Transylvania to assist him. He briefly uses a little bit of profanity and apparently sleeps with a local woman after saving her life.
  • SHULER HENSLEY plays Frankenstein's Monster who tries to avoid Dracula and simply wants to live and be left alone.
  • WILL KEMP plays Anna's brother who must contend with being infected by a werewolf bite.
  • ELENA ANAYA, SILVIA COLLOCA and JOSIE MARAN play Dracula's voluptuous mates, flying vampires who wreak havoc on the human population and then try to kill Van Helsing and Anna.
  • KEVIN J O'CONNOR plays Dr. Frankenstein's former assistant who now works for Dracula and loves torturing werewolves.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action/adventure film (with horror underpinnings and material) that's been rated PG-13. Violence consists of nearly nonstop, often brutal and occasionally lethal fighting between humans and monsters and between just monsters. Bodies are bitten, sliced, impaled and parts severed. Some of those scenes and others have bloody and/or gory results.

    Such scenes, other moments and the sight of various vampires, werewolves and other monsters (including when they transform from human appearance to monstrous, and bare their teeth, etc.) may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to younger kids or viewers with low tolerance levels for such material.

    Various female vampires appear to be nude while in monster mode (but sans any detailed body parts) and show abundant cleavage in human form. Off-screen sex is implied, while part of a male monster's butt crack is seen. Profanity consists of a handful of expletives, various characters have bad attitudes, and some brief smoking and alcohol use is present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, that occurs in various scenes featuring thunderstorms as well as laboratory sparks.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see bottles of absinthe in an old mill.
  • Anna mentions buying Van Helsing a drink for killing a vampire. She later says that she promised him one, tells him where the bar is and to help himself (but he doesn't).
  • We see villagers walk out of a pub carrying mugs (but we don't know what's inside them).
  • Anna has a drink of absinthe and Van Helsing is about to do the same, but the platform they're on collapses and sends them falling down (both are okay).
  • Miscellaneous characters appear to have drinks at a masquerade ball.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Dracula emerges from a fire on fire, with badly charred flesh on his face, but that heals.
  • We see a tiny bit of blood on Dracula's mouth after he's bitten someone.
  • We see large and crude surgery scars on Frankenstein's Monster's head.
  • Mr. Hyde shows a bloodless but large hole that goes completely through his huge arm.
  • Mr. Hyde has some blood on his chest and arm stump after Van Helsing slices his torso and cuts off his arm. Later, Van Helsing shoots a grappling hook and cable through Hyde's body, but beyond it going through him, there's no blood.
  • We see a vampire with arrow holes in it that quickly heal back to normal.
  • A vampire holds and then drinks from a goblet containing human blood.
  • Velkan has some bloody scrapes on his face.
  • Velkan tears off his skin as he transforms into a werewolf.
  • A werewolf shreds parts of its skin when transforming back into a human.
  • A man sees his father's charred corpse.
  • Van Helsing and Anna discover large, gooey pods containing the born-dead children of Dracula and his mates. They then slowly make their way through many of them. Van Helsing then decides he wants to see what's inside, and so begins to tear one open, with all sorts of gooey liquid and chunks coming out.
  • Van Helsing shoots various flying baby vampires, causing them to explode into goo when hit.
  • All of the flying baby vampires all explode into green goo.
  • We see lots of crude, large and ugly scars on Frankenstein's Monster's face, and in one scene, we see his open skull (exposing an electrified brain) and part of his facial skin falling from his face.
  • A carriage explodes upon impact with the ground, causing stakes to fire out and impale a flying vampire in the chest (with some blood around them).
  • Van Helsing has some blood on his shirt from where a werewolf bit and/or scratched him.
  • Acid sprays onto a vampire's face, resulting in it being very gory and torn up (although it quickly heals).
  • Anna has a little bit of a bloody lip and then some blood on her head during a fight with a vampire.
  • Anna stabs a vampire in the chest. The vampire begins to dissolve and then explodes.
  • Dracula has some bloody scrapes on his face while Van Helsing has some on his chest during a fight.
  • A werewolf bites a vampire on the neck, resulting in a lot of blood there and from his mouth before he dissolves away.
  • Many flying vampire babies explode with resultant goo.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Dracula, his female mates and his assistants all have bad attitudes for pursuing their supernatural agenda.
  • Anna initially has a bad attitude toward Van Helsing, but then joins forces with him.
  • Dracula says that he wants to prove that God isn't the only one who can create life (by using Dr. Frankenstein's plan of reanimating dead beings).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The sight of various vampires, werewolves and other monsters (including when they transform from human appearance to monstrous, and bare their teeth, etc.) may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to younger kids or viewers with low tolerance levels for such material). Scenes listed under "Blood/Gore" and "Violence" might have similar effects.
  • We see the shadow of Dracula turning into a large, winged vampire monster.
  • We see Velkan strung up on a vertical log as bait for a werewolf. We see its point of view and then the huge beast as it charges at him. Velkan then escapes up the log and onto a wench above it, with the werewolf then scrambling up the log and leaping at him. It then falls down into a trap at the base of the log that then flies up into the air, sending Anna flipping backwards when it catches her foot (she lands okay). The werewolf then tries to tear through its cage and get at Velkan (up in the air), with the latter's helpers shooting at the beast. It then escapes and chases after Anna toward a cliff. It dives at her, but Velkan jumps in its way and fires shots at it, with both falling a long way to a river below them (both he and the beast are then believed to be dead).
  • Van Helsing and Anna slowly approach and peer down into a dark well where they believe a vampire is hiding from the sunlight. A cloud passes in front of the sun and the vampire blasts out from the well.
  • Anna hears something and slowly walks through a castle at night. She finds an open window and closes it, but then see wet footprints on the floor. We then see a werewolf's point of view looking down at her, as well as its slobber then falling to the floor near and then onto her. She then sees and fires a shot at it before running off.
  • A flying vampire grabs and picks up Van Helsing and then drops him several times, as he tries to gain control of a horse-drawn carriage as it races toward a ravine where the bridge is out. The horse and carriage manage to jump the ravine, but the carriage catches on the back end and falls.
  • Anna, Van Helsing and Carl hang onto the side of an out of control, horse-drawn carriage (that's also on fire) as it races along the edge of a sheer cliff. Frankenstein's Monster saves them, but all jump from the carriage as a werewolf attacks them (with Van Helsing shooting the werewolf while jumping off). The carriage then explodes.
  • As Van Helsing and Carl leave a graveyard, we see a skeletal-type hand coming out from a stone coffin.
  • For those sensitive to such matters, we see a funeral pyre being lit from a distance and then burning in a regular shot (but the burning body isn't seen).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Gas powered crossbow/Swords/Knives/Spinning blades/Stakes/Gatling gun/Explosives: Seen, carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Carl throws a small bit of nitroglycerine that causes a small explosion, while we see a Gatling gun being fired in practice.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bloody" and "Run like hell."
  • All of the fighting and stunts might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • Mr. Hyde put out a lit cigar on his tongue.
  • Mr. Hyde belches.
  • A performer at a ball blows flames from his mouth.
  • The sudden appearance of a vampire might startle some viewers.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Mr. Hyde's large head suddenly pops into the scene.
  • A baby vampire's head suddenly pops out of a pod. Another suddenly smacks into a window.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, action-oriented and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 damns, 2 hells, 9 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Good God" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The flying female vampires (in monster mode) appear to be nude, but no explicit details are seen (thus you can see the shape of their seemingly bare breasts and crotches, but no nipples or genitalia are present). They also show cleavage (sometimes a lot) in human form.
  • We see the top part of Mr. Hyde's butt crack.
  • Anna shows some cleavage.
  • Seeing a bunch of flying baby vampires, Van Helsing comments that this is what you get when vampires mate.
  • After Carl saves a female villager from a vampire, she asks what she can do to thank him. He whispers something to her and she says he can't do that, as he's a monk. He reminds her that he's just a friar and we next see him waking up from a nightmare on the sofa on which both lie (suggesting they had sex as she knowingly smiles at him and he states that he now remembers).
  • Some miscellaneous women show cleavage at a masquerade ball.
  • Dracula briefly but passionately kisses Anna who shows cleavage and is somewhat under his hypnotic spell. When she breaks out of that, she tells him that he makes her skin crawl and he replies that's not all he could do to it.
  • Van Helsing tells Anna to clip off Igor's fingers if he doesn't cooperate. She then suggestively replies, "I'll cut off something" (referring to his unseen genitals).
  • Van Helsing and Anna briefly but passionately kiss.
  • A female vampire licks Anna's face with her very long tongue.
  • SMOKING
  • Van Helsing finds a still burning cigar and we later see Mr. Hyde with one (that he puts out on his tongue).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Anna must deal with her father being missing for 12 months and the apparent death of her brother. She must then deal with him being a werewolf and then his subsequent death.
  • A man sees his father's charred corpse.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The legends about creatures such as vampires and werewolves.
  • The experiments of reanimating dead beings.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Dr. Frankenstein holds a sword on Dracula who purposefully drives his own body into the sword until it's all of the way through him (no blood, and since he's immortal, it doesn't harm him).
  • We see the shadow of Dracula biting Dr. Frankenstein on the neck. Frankenstein's Monster then throws something large that smashes Dracula back into a huge fireplace. He emerges on fire, with badly charred flesh on his face, but that heals.
  • Villagers chase after Frankenstein's Monster -- who's carrying his master -- and then throw their torches onto the windmill that Frankenstein's Monster has ascended to the top. It catches on fire and then partially explodes. Moments later, the top part of the platform collapses, sending Frankenstein's Monster and his master falling down through the debris and into the fire below.
  • Van Helsing finds a dead woman on the street, apparently killed by Mr. Hyde.
  • Mr. Hyde knocks Van Helsing backwards, but the latter gets off shots from his revolvers at the big brute. Hyde then charges Van Helsing who holds large spinning blades that he uses to slice Hyde's torso causing the brute to smash into an enormous bell. Hyde then picks that up and traps Van Helsing beneath it. When he picks it up, however, Van Helsing slices him again. Van Helsing then slices off his arm (we see the severed limb with a little blood on the end of it as well as the stump on Hyde's body), but Hyde blasts Van Helsing back through a wall. Hyde then throws Van Helsing off the top of a cathedral, but as Van Helsing falls toward the ground, he shoots a grappling hook from a gun that rips through Hyde's chest and then pulls taut on his back. Now on the ground, Van Helsing tries to pull Hyde from the roof, but the brute yanks Van Helsing upward with the cable that runs through him. Hyde, however, eventually falls over the edge and crashes through various things before turning back into Dr. Jekyll and then hitting the ground (presumably dying).
  • We see a test subject being shocked during one of Carl's experiments.
  • We see Velkan strung up on a vertical log as bait for a werewolf. We see its point of view and then the huge beast as it charges at him. Velkan then escapes up the log and onto a wench above it, with the werewolf then scrambling up the log and leaping at him. It then falls down into a trap at the base of the log that then flies up into the air, sending Anna flipping backwards when it catches her foot (she lands okay). The werewolf then tries to tear through its cage and get at Velkan (up in the air), with the latter's helpers shooting at the beast. It then escapes and chases after Anna toward a cliff. It dives at her, but Velkan jumps in its way and fires shots at it, with both falling a long way to a river below them (both he and the beast are then believed to be dead).
  • Van Helsing rapidly fires arrows at three flying female vampires that swoop down onto a village, hitting one (we see the arrow in it). One picks up Anna, but Van Helsing grabs and saves her. One then tries to pick up a person, but gets a cow instead and sends it blasting through a roof (we later see that it's okay).
  • Van Helsing and Anna slowly approach and peer down into a dark well where they believe a vampire is hiding from the sunlight. A cloud passes in front of the sun and the vampire blasts out from the well. That one or another grabs Anna by the foot, but she slices its foot and Van Helsing then fires an arrow through its leg. It drops Anna and she falls down onto a roof and tumbles down its side, eventually falling through some things until reaching the ground. Van Helsing fires more arrow shots at the vampires, hitting one that then crashes through a roof.
  • A vampire punches Van Helsing back through a wall and then knocks him around into various things.
  • Van Helsing shoots a vampire with arrows, causing it to crash into the top of a church where it quickly dissolves away, just as the two other female vampires are ready to bite Anna's neck.
  • We see the silhouette of Igor shocking a werewolf.
  • Van Helsing uses some sort of spray to knock Anna unconscious (to keep her from going out and battling the vampires by herself).
  • Anna fires a shot at a werewolf before running off.
  • A werewolf smashes through a window to escape.
  • A gravedigger tries to hit Van Helsing with his shovel, but Van Helsing spins around and catches it. He then ducks as a werewolf blasts out toward them, smashing the gravedigger backwards.
  • Van Helsing pushes Anna back against a wall and holds her by the neck, choking her.
  • Some of Dracula's henchmen grab Velkan and strap him into some sort of experimental contraption. He's then sent to the roof in that device where he's shocked by electrical surges.
  • Van Helsing shoots various flying baby vampires, causing them to explode into goo when hit.
  • Flying baby vampires swarm through a village and attack and lift the inhabitants into the air (no blood).
  • Van Helsing drives a large stake through Dracula's chest, but it doesn't kill him.
  • Anna ends up hanging onto a rope/chain in Dracula's laboratory. His henchmen then come after her, and she knocks one off the rope/chain and it hits and bounces off the vat below her. She then cuts the rope/chain, sending another one falling into the vat.
  • Van Helsing pulls out a cross that Dracula then grabs and it catches on fire and burns up into nothing.
  • All of the flying baby vampires all explode into green goo.
  • Van Helsing and Anna travel down a zip line, but it then breaks, sending them swinging down to the ground (they're okay) and a werewolf crashing far below into a body of water.
  • Van Helsing and Anna find themselves in a pit where Van Helsing notes that something carnivorous is done there with them. It turns out to be Frankenstein's Monster who throws Van Helsing aside and then lifts Anna. Van Helsing then hits Frankenstein's Monster from the back, causing his skull to open (exposing an electrified brain) and part of his facial skin to fall down (both of which he fixes). Van Helsing is then shocked by that brain and knocked aside, but shoots what look like darts into Frankenstein's Monster's back to control him (the monster falls to the ground).
  • A flying vampire grabs and picks up Van Helsing and then drops him several times as he tries to gain control of a horse-drawn carriage.
  • A carriage explodes upon impact with the ground, causing stakes to fire out and impale a flying vampire in the chest (with some blood around them).
  • A werewolf attacks a carriage wwith Van Helsing shooting the werewolf while jumping off. The carriage then explodes.
  • A vampire punches Anna, knocks her out, drag her away and then flies off with her.
  • Van Helsing shoots a dart into Frankenstein's Monster, rendering him unconscious.
  • We hear the sound of someone being hit.
  • Carl pushes a man who causes Dracula to catch on fire (but he's okay).
  • Anna, Van Helsing and Carl jump through a large glass window to elude vampires that are then blasted and disintegrated by a device that emits sunshine.
  • As Van Helsing starts to fall under the spell of becoming a werewolf, he grabs Carl by the throat and lifts him up that way while both float in some water.
  • As Carl tries to return through a one-way portal, he runs face-first into a stone wall.
  • Van Helsing throws a spinning blade that impales and pins Igor's arm, shoulder or just clothing to a wall.
  • Igor kicks Carl to the floor.
  • Van Helsing grabs one of Dracula's diminutive henchmen, smashes him against a wall and then throws him out a castle window (to his implied death).
  • Acid sprays onto a vampire's face, resulting in it being very gory and torn up (although it quickly heals).
  • A vampire throws Anna aside.
  • Carl tries to traverse a long bridge as huge lightning bolts blast it and then Igor repeatedly jabs at him with an electrified rod.
  • Dracula knocks Van Helsing aside who then falls and crashes through things.
  • Lightning bolts hit Frankenstein's Monster and he then falls but eventually grabs and swings by on a cable. That cable then sweeps across a bridge and knocks Igor from it (to his presumed death).
  • A vampire backhands Anna across a room.
  • We see some of Dracula's small henchmen who are on fire and running about.
  • A werewolf battles a monster-sized version of Dracula with each hitting and knocking the other around and causing property damage inside a castle.
  • Frankenstein's Monster sends a vampire flying through the air and smashing into a wall.
  • A vampire hits Anna and sends her crashing into things rather hard.
  • Anna stabs a vampire in the chest. The vampire then begins to dissolve and then explodes.
  • A werewolf bites a vampire on the neck, resulting in a lot of blood there and from his mouth before he dissolves away.
  • Anna tries to stab a werewolf with a syringe, but the beast attacks her.
  • A werewolf kills a person.
  • Many flying vampire babies explode with resultant goo.



  • Reviewed May 4, 2004 / Posted May 7, 2004

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