Film / Van Helsing

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Van Helsing is a 2004 action movie released by Universal Studios and directed by Stephen Sommers, who did the first two films of The Mummy Trilogy. It stars Hugh Jackman as the eponymous Vampire Hunter. In this incarnation, he works as an agent of the Knights of the Holy Order in the Vatican to hunt down monsters and other abominations. Aiding him is Friar Carl, a slightly irreverent tinkerer and inventor that supplies him with the speciality equipment and comic relief he needs to take down the creatures of the night.

Yeah. It's just that kind of movie.

Van Helsing and Friar Carl are sent to Transylvania to help the last of the Valerious family, Anna and her brother Velkan, destroy Dracula — because if they don't, several generations of the family will never get to heaven, because God is apparently a big believer in holding kids to their great-great-great-great-grandparents' oaths. Who knows; maybe He is?

Once there, Van Helsing finds himself facing down Dracula and his brides, savage werewolves, and even Frankenstein's creation in the course of his mission — and discovering a few secrets about his own past, with plenty of Universal Horror/Hammer Horror Shout-Outs along the way.

There's also a short animated film, Van Helsing: The London Assignment, which is a prequel to this film.

A reboot is in the works, which will be set within the new Dark Universe alongside The Mummy (2017).


Van Helsing provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: Werewolf Gabriel leaves claw-marks on a stone statue during his brawl with Dracula.
  • Action Girl: Anna wants to be one, right from the get-go. She spends so much time trying to get into fights that at one point Van Helsing actually has to gas her into unconsciousness.
  • Adaptational Badass: One of the entire points to making the film was to reinvent the Van Helsing character into a younger, action hero-type. In the book, Abraham van Helsing was an Omnidisciplinary Scientist who spoke comically broken English. He was well built, but getting on in years, and did not perform any notable act of physical skill; he was purely The Smart Guy.
  • Affably Evil: Dracula is surprisingly pleasant and polite for a bloodsucking hellbeast.
  • All There in the Manual: The three actresses playing the Brides revealed some nifty extra information about their characters you don't get in the film at all such as Verona being the oldest and Dracula's favourite, Marishka is the middle bride and was a gypsy, and Aleera is the youngest and most jealous. Silvia Colloca said that Verona was "very confident and very wise, never loses her temper [...] she is very dangerous for that reason because she is not very predictable."
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses "Wild Romance" by Kyosuke Himuro.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Gypsy royalty did exist in real-life; Ștefan Răzvan, a 16th century Moldavian voivode who ousted Aaron the Tyrant, is one of the few examples. That said, due to racism, Roma acquiring an independent property of their own is almost unheard of, and they mostly came to power due to their connections with established powers (the above Răzvan escaped slavery because his father was a loyal Ottoman subject and his mother was a native Romanian).
  • An Arm and a Leg: Van Helsing manages to lop off one of Hyde's arms with a bladed throwing disk.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Oh, look, vampires are weak to werewolves. Looks like Van Helsing has a new way to make Dracula Deader Than Dead.
  • Angel Unaware: The title character is implied to be this, due to repeatedly being referred to by Dracula as "Gabriel" and, at one point, the "left hand of God". Van Helsing also early on mentions to Carl that he remembers fighting Romans at Masada in 72 AD. The Novelisation actually downright confirms this: Van Helsing is mentioned as having two large disfiguring scars between his shoulder blades, right where wings would be. The scars would seem to imply they were forcibly torn out.
  • Animated Adaptation: The London Assignmentnote , a prequel to the movie.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Anna manages to cut off Frankenstein's monster in mid-rant:
      Anna: What do you want?
      Frankenstein's Monster: ...To exist.
    • The Monster himself gets one at the start of the story.
      Frankenstein's Monster: (to the angry mob) WHY?
  • Arrogant Monster Girl: Aleera and Marishka of Dracula's brides. They both just play around with their prey rather then going for the kill giving the heroes enough time to find a way to kill them.
  • Artistic License – Religion:
    • Van Helsing must kill Dracula to prevent the Valerious family from "passing into Purgatory" and never reaching Heaven. Yeah, except that, according to Catholic dogma, passing into Purgatory means eventually ending up in Heaven. The movie states that they would be stuck in Purgatory forever, because of a special deal the original Valerious made.
    • Also, a friar isn't a lower degree of monk who hasn't leveled up to taking vows (that's a novice). Monks are members of monastic orders who profess the three vows (poverty, chastity, and obedience) and live in a cloistered ascetic community (like the abbey that Van Helsing says Carl has never left). Friars are members of mendicant orders who profess the three vows and live in the community at large, moving around as necessary to do their work. Carl's right, he's not a monk; but his brown habit and tonsure clearly mark him as a Franciscan friar (Order of Friars Minor), which very definitely means a vow of chastity (though the way he says this to a woman implies he's just taken advantage of her ignorance).
  • Artistic License – Physics: The vanes of the decrepit windmill where the Creature takes Frankenstein's body spin steadily and fairly fast right up until it collapses, despite having only a few square feet of canvas left even before it burns away. This, on a night with little to no wind, judging by how the flames of the mill's destruction burn straight up.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Anna has this trait and it's not helpful. Her idea of a sensible solution when confronted with a horde of vampires is to grab a mace that was mounted on the wall, brandish it, and start to throw herself into the horde. Fortunately, Van Helsing is there to drag her out of harm's way.
  • A-Team Firing: Van Helsing might want to spend some time at a shooting range before his next assignment.
  • Audible Sharpness: Van Helsing's werewolf claws extend with a Wolverine-like SNIKT.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Van Helsing wields a gas-powered automatic gatling-style crossbow.
  • Badass Longcoat: Dracula and Van Helsing have these which shows they are foils for one another.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The vampires when in monster mode have no nipples and genitalia on their seemingly nude bodies. Justified in that all the creatures that transform have their clothes transform too. The lone exceptions are the werewolves, who retain their pants when transforming, even as they rip off their upper clothing and skin.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Dracula and his brides turn into humanoid bats.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Any flesh wounds the vampires sustain heal pretty much instantly. Although this is averted when they die and shrivel up.
    • Anna takes a fair share of blows and gets thrown around multiple times throughout the movie but doesn't suffer so much as a scratch... not even after a lycanthropic Van Helsing fatally injures her.
  • Belly Dancer: Marishka certainly dresses like one, though she gets killed before we see much of her characteristics.
  • Between My Legs: The framing of Van Helsing in his first meeting with Anna. And that one moment during the following action scene when he is almost speaking with her special friend.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Dracula's brides: Marishka (Blonde), Verona (Brunette) and Aleera (Redhead). They get killed in that order as well.
  • Bodyguard Babes: The Brides are Dracula's primary enforcers and are all beautiful.
  • Body Horror: The brides are full of this when they go monster, morphing their faces and unhinging their jaws. One particular scene in the climax had Aleera gets this when the acidic material get thrown in her face. Granted, being a vampire it doesn't kill her, but we see most of it burned before she regenerates.
  • Captain Obvious: "You're choking me!" Gee, Anna, was the choke hold he had on your neck your first clue?
  • Captive Date: Dracula takes Anna to his masquerade ball and forces her to dance with him while waiting for Van Helsing to arrive. No ropes used, but it's clear he's using some kind of mind control or muscle control.
  • Carrying the Antidote: There's a very good reason why Dracula carries the antidote for lycanthropy. He doesn't just annihilate all the werewolves because he needs someone far stronger than a normal human to channel the energies needed in his attempt to bring his horde of baby vampires to life. Before Frankenstein's Monster, he really did need at least one alive. Plus, they make useful servants who have to obey his every command. After their first full moon at any rate.
  • Chandelier Swing: The movie is extremely fond of having the heroes swinging from very long ropes and with enough momentum that they should have killed themselves several times.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Light Bomb is introduced early and is useful much later.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
  • Christianity Is Catholic: The Knights of the Holy Order supposedly encompass monster-hunters of all religions... but it's housed in the Vatican and run by Catholic priests. You do, however, see Buddhist monks, mullahs, and some other clergymen in the "base".
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: Van Helsing sports these for his intro shot but quickly ditches the mask.
  • Composite Character:
    • Igor has the role of Fritz from the original Frankenstein movie, but the name (pronunciation, not spelling), accent, posture, and antagonistic role of Ygor from Son of Frankenstein.
    • Frankenstein's Monster retains much of his look from the Universal movies but the eloquent speech patterns and intelligence of the novel.
  • Confessional: Van Helsing meets his superior in one of these.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: The final battle — a werewolf vs. Dracula.
  • Costume Porn: All three brides wear very elaborate dresses. Also, the masquerade ball has dozens of extras dressed outlandishly.
  • Creepy Mortician: The undertaker in the village who greets Van Helsing.
  • Cross-Melting Aura: Dracula can melt crosses that he touches.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Averted. The Brides may be cute in their human forms but their vampire forms... not so much.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Van Helsing might be an angel, might be Dracula's protegé, might be Wolverine in an earlier incarnation. Dracula knows him, though. We just never find out how.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Van Helsing, Frankenstein's monster and even Anna dress in dark, gothic colors but are all heroic.
  • Deader Than Dead: None of the vampires in the movie are coming back. Not even Dracula.
  • Deadly Disc: Van Helsing uses serrated razor discs both as melee and thrown weapons. Notably, he cuts Mr. Hyde's arm with one, and pins Igor to a wall with another.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Van Helsing and Dracula both get their share of moments.
  • Deal with the Devil: How Dracula became a vampire.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The opening scenes, in an homage to old monster movies of the 1930s and 40s.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Anna was destined to kill Dracula. She fights his brides instead.
  • Destructive Saviour: In his first scene, Van Helsing shatters Notre Dame's Rose Window while fighting Mr. Hyde, and is called out by Cardinal Jinette for his lack of subtlety.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Anna's spirit smiles as she ascends to Heaven.
  • Dies Wide Open: Anna's eyes are still open after she is mauled to death by Van Helsing.
  • Disney Villain Death: Igor falls from a great height not to be seen again.
  • Dirty Old Monk: Friar Carl, who isn't a monk.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The scene that introduces Friar Carl bears a more than passing resemblance to the inevitable scene in the James Bond film where Bond visits Q to load up on cool toys.
    • Also inverted. The scene where Van Helsing cradles Anna's lifeless body and cries out after killing her accidentally is very reminiscent to X-Men: The Last Stand where Wolverine (also played by Hugh Jackman) clutches Jean Grey's body after she begs him to kill her.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: "If there's one thing I've learned, it's never be the first to stick your hand into a viscous material." And sure enough, he's right.
  • Dracula: He serves as the antagonist of the film.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: ...Including horse-drawn carriages loaded with wooden stakes and explosive charges. That are on fire. Justified as the carriage in question was meant to be a 19th century equivalent to car bomb.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Why else would she be Princess Anna Valerious? Even the vampires call her that. And, you know, the thing about her father being king of the gypsies.
  • Evil Gloating:
    • Dracula... oh, so very much.
    • Aleera engages in this as well. And it gets her killed. In the words of Anna: "If you're going to kill someone, do it. Don't just stand there talking about it."
  • Evil Redhead: Aleera is the longest lasting of all of Dracula's brides.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Van Helsing remembering fighting the Romans in 73 A.D and also Dracula introducing himself as born 1422, murdered 1462. The film's set in 1888.
  • Expy: The Dwergi (Dracula's servants) bear more than a passing resemblance to the Little People of The Saga of Darren Shan.
  • Fanservice: You've got Hugh Jackman, and shirtless, suffering Velkan for the ladies, and Anna (Kate Beckinsale) and the Brides for the men. And, of course, the Monster Mash premise is probably meant as fanservice of a non-sexual sort.
  • Fantastic Catholicism: The Holy Order of Knights in Rome sponsored under the Catholic Church are responsible for keeping the world from falling into chaos by exterminating monsters, devils, and supernatural forces. Bonus points with the fact that members of the orders include adherents of many faiths such as mullahs, Buddhist monks, and Jewish rabbis.
  • Faux Action Girl: Anna Valerious, through and through. She gets top marks for effort, but when it comes to actually doing anything, she accomplishes very little.
  • Fight Off the Kryptonite: Dracula vs. Crucifix. It's a tie, really. He screams, it melts.
  • Fingore: Van Helsing tells Anna to cut off one of Igor's fingers if he should fail to comply. She clearly has slightly more esoteric targets in mind...
  • Frankenstein's Monster: A very steampunk incarnation is an ally of Van Helsing.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Just minutes into the movie, as Dracula talks with Dr. Frankenstein, there's a moment where the camera focuses on Dracula and lightning flashes. For just one or two frames, Dracula's true form is shown in detail almost two hours before the big reveal of what he really looks like at the climax.
  • Funny Background Event: If you're not distracted by Van Helsing scooping up Anna to rescue her from the all-vampire masked ball, you'll see Dracula throw the fire-eater clear across the room, miffed at the guy for (thanks to Carl) accidentally setting him on fire.
  • Fur Against Fang: Apparently the only thing in the known universe that can kill Dracula is a werewolf.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Friar Carl is assigned to Van Helsing as his go-to gadget maker and dispensery.
  • Genre Savvy: Friar Carl again. Also Dracula and Van Helsing himself from time to time.
    Velkan: I would rather die than help you!
    Dracula: Ooh, don't be boring. Everyone who says that dies.
  • Ghost Butler: Averted - Van Helsing makes a point to knock every single door in Dracula's castle off its hinges to prevent this.
  • The Golden Rule: Subverted, it's another rule that Igor lives by.
    Dracula: Remember, Igor. Do unto others...
    Igor: ...Before they do unto me, master.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Van Helsing used this to escape Frankenstein's castle, as well as offensively to impale Mr. Hyde in the chest.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence:
    • The werewolf transformations.
    • It is inverted early on with Mr. Hyde transforming back to Dr. Jekyll in the opening.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted during Anna and Velkan Valerious' first fight in the film (against a werewolf); Anna uses a sword, while Velkan uses a revolver loaded with silver bullets.
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: Friar Carl wears one of these as part of his jester costume for the masquerade ball where he and the title character meet Dracula. He twitches his head to make the bells ring in the graveyard where they stash the Frankenstein monster, out of anxiety, for laughs, or both.
  • Haunted Castle: Dracula's castle is this big time.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Van Helsing worries that this is what he's turning into. And then, he's bitten by a werewolf causing this to become a Literal Trope. Frankenstein's creation's words to him upon realizing this don't help.
  • Hereditary Curse: The Valerious family is bound by a curse that keeps them from entering into Heaven until Dracula is killed. This is the result of a vow taken by a distant ancestor.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Van Helsing is stated early on to be the most wanted man in Europe, due to his Destructive Saviour tendencies and the fact that many of the creatures he takes out revert to human upon death.
  • Historical In-Joke: During Van Helsing's briefing about Dracula, this famous portrait of the real Vlad Dracula is reproduced with the face of actor Richard Roxburgh.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Transylvanian village that has the unfortunate location to be closest to Dracula's castle has a really creepy gravedigger that is eventually killed by Velkan in his werewolf form. Upon dying, he rolls into the grave he was digging.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Frial Carl's sun bomb is effectively this.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: What's wrong, Dr. Frankenstein — you actually thought that Dracula had altruistic intentions for your creations? To be fair though, the novelization of the film points out that while he's not quite as foolish as to believe Dracula is altogether altruistic, he has no idea whatsoever that Dracula is a vampire. This lack of knowledge comes back to bite him in the ass once the creature is successfully brought to life.
  • Hot Gypsy Woman: Anna, the Gypsy princess. Marishka was apparently a gypsy too before she was turned.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Van Helsing does this in his werewolf form after having the cure injected into his body and Carl confirms that Anna is dead. It morphs into a Big "NO!" as he transforms back into a human.
  • The Igor: Pretty much required here.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Dracula has absolutely no problem molesting Anna while the audience waits for Van Helsing to make his big damn entrance.
  • Indecisive Parody: Okay, you are either an Affectionate Parody, a straight parody, or a Massive Multiplayer Crossover. Pick one.
  • It's Going Down: Unusually, the windmill is toast at the beginning.
  • It's What I Do: The entire reason Igor gives for why he likes torturing things. He even names the trope word for word.
  • Just Between You and Me: Aleera has a big mouth.
  • Knight in Sour Armor:
    • Van Helsing gives off this attitude early on, complaining about his negative public image and nearly walking out on the Cardinal out of disgust for the Knights of the Holy Order's unwillingness to go public and clear things up.
    • Frankenstein's creature is this. While he's a strong believer that Humans Are the Real Monsters, he does everything he can to make sure Dracula don't get his claws on him in order to save mankind from Dracula's evil. When he gets busted, he allies with the party in order to stop Dracula from finishing his plan.
  • Large Ham:
    • Dracula is contractually required to be like this.
    • Frankenstein's monster is no slouch either.
    • Neither are the vampire brides.
    • Velkan hams it up the best he can in the few scenes where he's human.
  • Last of His Kind: After Velkan is lost while hunting werewolves, Anna is the last of the Valerious. Verona even states this word-for-word. She eventually dies by the end of the film, too, rendering the family extinct.
  • Lecherous Licking: A Lesbian Vampire licks Anna's face with her very long tongue.
  • Lesbian Vampire: The Brides of Dracula display some notable lesbian tendencies, especially Brides Verona and Aleera. Marishka might have shown some too, if she'd lasted longer. Aleera is bisexual and seems very interested in Anna.
  • Light Is Not Good: All three of Dracula's brides dress in flowing pastel dresses but they turn into batlike harpies to signify just how badass they are.
  • Logo Joke: The Universal logo is black and white, and in a Match Cut becomes a torch.
  • Lover, Not a Fighter: Friar Carl, who justifies his Rescue Nookie with a random townswoman because he's not a monk and therefore not bound by any vows of celibacy.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Subverted. Carl reveals that Dracula was actually the son of Anna's ancestor, only for Anna to remark that everyone knows that.
  • Made of Explodium: To be fair, the carriage was rigged to go boom.
  • Made of Iron: Van Helsing and Anna. Comes in handy when you're being thrown through buildings, but it makes little sense for Anna since she's by all standards a normal human while Van Helsing is implied to be a literal angel who has lost both his wings but seems to be as powerful as a human (or possibly superhuman).
  • Magic Countdown: That clock is striking twelve for at least three minutes...
  • Magic Pants: Standard issue on all werewolves. (In the DVD commentary they note that originally Hugh Jackman was naked but test audiences found it too distracting so they added CGI pants.)
  • Man on Fire:
    • This happens to Dracula three times.
    • The werewolf once, once to SIX dwergersnote , and once to Anna.
    • This trope was abused to the point where it started Necro Critic's famous Burning Man Count running gag.
  • Masquerade Ball: Dracula holds Anna captive at a very large and elaborate one.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, werewolves, Mr. Hyde, Van Helsing all appear in this film.
  • Missing Reflection: A mirror reflects a person dancing, but not their vampire partner. Same goes for the other couple hundred people in the ball room. Those paying close attention can see this Oh, Crap! moment coming.
  • Modular Franchise: This movie tried to ride on the success of Sommers' remake of The Mummy.
  • Monster Mash: Vampires vs. werewolf and hunter and Frankenstein's Monster.
  • Monumental Damage: The Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral suffers quite a bit from Van Helsing's confrontation with Jekyll/Hyde. Most notably, the rose window gets smashed.
  • More Dakka:
    Carl: Here, take this.
    [he hands Van Helsing a bag, then begins to fill it]
    Carl: Rings of garlic... holy water... silver stake... crucifix...
    [they pass two monks test-firing a Gatling gun]
    Van Helsing: Why can't I have one of those?
  • Motivational Kiss: When Van Helsing and Anna split up before the climactic battle, he to face down Dracula using his werewolf power to defeat the vampire and she to retrieve the werewolf cure serum.
  • Mr. Exposition: Carl. Lampshaded in the scene where he is explaining Dracula's backstory and he gets annoyed when Anna and Van Helsing fill parts of it in.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Every single male character in this movie except Frankenstein's Monster.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Like her male counterpart, any female presences, especially Anna and the Brides.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Named by the Adaptation: The three brides have no names in Dracula. Here they are named Aleera, Verona, and Marishka.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Anna Valerious's standing is defined primarily by that of her father and brothers.
  • Nice Hat: Van Helsing sports a very fine wide-brimmed hat through the movie and the masquerade ball has many hats as part of its Costume Porn.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: An Angel Werewolf Vampire-Hunter in a Badass Longcoat whose sidekick is a Sexually Active Swearing Friar Who Designs Turn-of-the-Century Anti-Vampire Hand Grenades. Booyah.
  • No Indoor Voice: FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER!!!
  • No Ontological Inertia: When Hyde's arm is cut off, it turns into Jekyll's arm. (Helsing has a reputation as a serial killer because so many of the monsters he kills turn into human corpses.) And killing Dracula causes anything created by him to die.
  • Ocean Awe: Raised her whole life in the mountain-barricaded Transylvania, Anna longs to see the sea, saying that it must have been very beautiful. She never manages to see it while alive. However, Van Helsing decides to bury her near one.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Anna Valerious manages to look sexy and still fight in a tight corset.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Vampires are fond of this. Dracula does it while talking to Victor Frankenstein in the prologue and Aleera too while cornering Anna.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Dracula and his brides can all turn into harpy-like humanoid bat creature. Dracula's demonic form is only fully revealed for the final battle. It's the same as his brides, only darker and with less-human features.
    • Van Helsing's werewolf form seems to be much larger and more brutal looking than the previous two werewolves seen in the film. He's also a literal angel who has lost both his wings but seems to be as powerful as a human (or possibly superhuman) can get in this film's universe.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Kate Beckinsale's ambiguously Eastern European accent can't seem to hold up for more than a few minutes at a time. Strangely, the Australian Hugh Jackman's English accent has some American pronunciations seep through at times as well.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Somewhat — they can shift from monster to human forms and can reproduce. As Van Helsing states, since they're undead their offspring are stillborn. Thus the need for energy filtered through a supernatural source (i.e: werewolves or Frankenstein's Monster) to bring them to life. Dracula himself seems to operate under different rules, as he himself can't be killed via a stake through the heart unlike his brides, because he has no heart. Crosses also burst into flame around him, and he can transform into an even bigger bat-like demon. His only weakness is the bite of a werewolf.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: When they transform, they rip the skin of their former human selves off as if it were clothes, and can be controlled by a vampire if their willpower isn't strong enough.
    • Might be considered a case of Shown Their Work, as old lore about werewolves states that they kept their fur on the inside of their skin.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Anna Valerious just can't keep up with Van Helsing and is constantly in over her head against vampires and werewolves.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Anna at the Masquerade Ball. Deleted scenes show Aleera gets one too.
  • Pivotal Wake-up: Dracula can enter and exit his costume on a hinge. He can effectively walk up wall like this, too.
  • Prehensile Tail: Dracula's babies have them.
  • Protagonist Title: Van Helsing is the name of the movie and the main character.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Dracula to Dr. Frankenstein:
    Dracula: Now that it is, as you yourself have said... A triumph. Of science. OVER GOD!!!!!...
  • Pull Yourself Down the Spear: In the distant prologue, Dr. Victor impales Dracula with a sword, but Dracula just pulls himself down the sword to get closer to Victor and bite him.
  • Rain of Arrows: Van Helsing is capable of this with this Gatling crossbow.
  • Rasputinian Death: Dracula has been on the receiving end of one of these for over four centuries, Anna even references the namesake inadvertently when discussing how her family's tried and failed to end the vampire king over their family's long, convoluted history.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
  • Reluctant Monster: Frankenstein's monster just wants to be left alone and live.
  • Rescue Sex: Friar Carl saves a random townswoman from falling to her doom by making a diving catch. She's very grateful... and quite happy that he's not bound by vows of chastity. We don't see either of them again for some time...
  • Royal "We": The young Queen Victoria uses this in the animated prequel.
  • Rule of Cool: The plot seems to run entirely on it.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Van Helsing is this as a hunter. He notes several aspects of Frankenstein's Monster just from a set of footprints. He can even tell that he has copper teeth but that's because the Monster was spotted hiding in the shadows right behind Anna.
  • Scenery Porn: Evil, foreboding CGI castles are pretty. Hell, the whole setting is pretty well shot. If nothing else, the filmmakers get the spooky feeling right.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Whatever Van Helsing is, he has no respect for any rules except his own.
    Van Helsing: The laws of men mean little to me.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dracula was given wings by the devil to circumvent this.
  • Shaggy Search Technique: How Carl discovers a very special painting...
  • Shirtless Scene: It's an action movie starring Hugh Jackman, 'nuff said.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shovel Strike: Top Hat (the gravedigger) attempts to attack Van Helsing with his shovel as he has his back turned on him. Van Helsing catches the shovel, Top Hat gives a half-hearted apology and is then killed by a werewolf.
  • Sky Face: At the end, Anna's face appears in the sky, along with her brother's and hints of other people (presumably their ancestors, those "nine generations of the Valerious" the cardinal mentioned early in the film). This is a visual cue that the Valerious family souls have all been saved from Purgatory.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Bram Stoker's Dracula. Both movies state that Dracula became a vampire in 1462, Dracula turning into a giant humanoid bat first came from that (as movies go) and the brides were given an Adaptation Dye-Job similar to those in Dracula. What's more is that Silvia Collocca has often been compared to Monica Bellucci, fellow Italians who both played Dracula's queen bride. The blonde bride dies first in both films too.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Anna is repeatedly grabbed by the Vampire brides by the arm, or held by Dracula effortlessly. In theory it should be that they're so incredibly strong she can't resist, but she clearly isn't even trying to pull free, just whimpering a little.
  • Starter Villain: Mr. Hyde is the first monster Van Helsing faces onscreen, giving the viewers an idea of how he operates and the mishaps that tend to occur once he does defeat evil.
  • Steampunk: The design of the Frankenstein Monster in particular; but a good deal of equipment seen being used in the movie is very impressive-looking for the time period.
  • Stripperiffic: Anna runs around fighting vampires and werewolves wearing a corset, peasant blouse and high-heeled boots. Averted with the brides, whose fancy gowns transform along with them.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Mr. Hyde is a big, muscular brute compared to Dr. Jekyll.
  • Talk to the Fist: How Anna gets vampires to shut the hell up already.
    Anna: If you're going to kill someone, kill them — don't stand around talking about it!
  • This Cannot Be!: Dracula says this as Van Helsing changes into a werewolf.
  • This Was His True Form: Why Van Helsing is considered a murderer by the Muggles. When he defeats the monstrous Mr. Hyde, for example, Hyde changes back to the measly Dr. Jekyll as he falls to his doom, and the French authorities don't see this transformation...
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Dracula's brides - Verona is the Wife (she appears as the leader and her actress confirms that she is the Queen Bride). Marishka is the Child - we don't see too much of her but she is very playful and not as bright as the other two. Aleera is the Seductress - she has the most Les Yay with Anna.
  • Tin Man: Dracula is a villainous version of this.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Anna and her brother Velkan tend to Leeroy Jenkins when they attack things, such as werewolves, despite knowing that if they die their entire family won't be allowed into Heaven. Presumably the Knights realized this, which is why they sent Van Helsing in the first place.
    • The Villagers don't fare much better. They give a flimsy justification that the vampires only attack because they're feeding (taking "only" one or two people a month), and if they were to fight back and kill the vampires, the remaining ones would only come back and slaughter them in revenge. Still, you'd think they'd try to deter them... it'd be very easy to do if they were all armed with bows instead of hatchets and pitchforks. Or more logically, if they resettled their village far away from Frankenstein's castle!
    • Aleera constantly keeps showing off her power and playing with Anna rather then killing her outright. By the time she finally decides to, Carl throws Anna a stake who wastes no time in driving it into her heart while citing how dumb Aleera was for wasting her opportunities.
    Anna: If you're going to kill someone, kill them and don't stand around talking about it.
    • Likewise, Aleera's sister Mariska wastes her time toying with Van Helsing, giving him enough time to dip his crossbow into some conveniently placed holy water and take her out.
  • Torso with a View: Mr. Hyde shows off a hole clean through his right arm while talking about his and Van Helsing's previous skirmish in London.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: In the case of the movie poster. The movie takes great pains to only hint at what Dracula looks like in his One-Winged Angel form until the end fight, but it is right there, in the top right corner of the poster.
  • Transformation Sequence: Several; the vampires shapeshift from human to bat-creature forms, while other humans become werewolves.
  • Überwald: The film's setting, and a cold one at that.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Dr. Victor Frankenstein is this to Dracula.
  • Vampire Dance: The dance hall where Drac is holding a fancy dress party is lined with mirrors, making it obvious to Anna that she's basically the only one there with a pulse.
  • Vampire Hunter: Well, Van Helsing, who else?
  • Vampire Monarch: All the vampires and werewolves answer to Dracula, who presumably was the first vampire. Van Helsing manages to subvert this, however.
  • Vampire Refugee: Van Helsing gets turned into a werewolf, and is prophesied to kill Dracula in this form. Meanwhile, Carl and Anna race to get the antidote to him before the last stroke of midnight, at which time he'll be a permanent werewolf.
  • Vampire-Werewolf Love Triangle: Van Helsing is in the process of becoming a werewolf when Dracula kidnaps his love interest and tries to seduce her.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Played with. Van Helsing can see that Frankenstein's monster is not really evil. The Knights of the Holy Order haven't met him, however, so they don't and have sent orders for Van Helsing to kill him as soon as possible because he isn't human and because destroying him would cut off Dracula's plot.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity: The vampire brides manage to fly down faster than a horse carriage falling down a chasm.
  • Vein-O-Vision: As Aleera has Anna at her mercy, we briefly see her from Aleera's point of view, which shows her as a walking bunch of veins.
  • Viking Funeral: Anna's pyre.
  • Visual Pun: A woman, alone at night, needs some sort of defense to protect herself. What does she grab? Mace. Well, a mace, but you get the idea.
  • Weird Moon: The moon is full for weeks in Transylvania and apparently waxes and wanes like crazy. After Van Helsing is bitten, Carl tells him that the next full moon is in three days. Repeat: there was a werewolf attack the night prior (meaning that there must have been the full moon), and three days later, it would be full again. There is a travel montage to get somewhere, but not one to get back. While the moon is still weird, this sort of gives an excuse for the "three days later" bit.
  • WHAM Line:
    • In the climax, there's Dracula asking Van Helsing "Did I mention that it was you who murdered me?" Making Helsing the one responsible for partially kickstarting the curse which the Velerious family has been fighting for generations.
    • Subverted with:
      Carl: Dracula was actually the son of your ancestor, the son of Valerious the Elder.
      Anna: Everybody knows that.
  • Wham Shot: At the masked ball, Dracula dances with Anna amidst a huge crowd of Bucharest party-goers. He lowers her into a dip in front of a full-length mirror, which reveals that Dracula casts no reflection ... and neither does anyone in the room but Anna.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Van Helsing must be cured by the last strike of midnight — fortunately, in Transylvania the clocks can take ten minutes to strike midnight. Maybe that has something to do with the moon. A particularly noteworthy example, as Dracula can only be killed after the first stroke of midnight.
  • Where's My Gun?: Prince Velcan loses his pistol early in his attempt to kill the werewolf Dracula unleashed off screen to hunt him and his sister down. When his trap is sprung, and the villagers start shooting the captured werewolf, he begins to scream at them to find his gun. Justified as his gun is loaded with Silver Bullets, and is therefore, the only thing that can kill a werewolf. He eventually does find it, and manages to kill the werewolf in question, however he gets knocked off a cliff for his efforts, and later becomes one.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/VanHelsing