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Headscratchers: Van Helsing
  • Anna's high heels. Her outfit rocks. Those goth hooker boots rock. But they're just not logical to wear when running around fighting monsters.
    • Running around in the woods no less.
    • The corset really isn't any more practical, either.
    • Rule of Sexy
  • The grave-digger of Anna's little semi-creepy village claims that vampires don't kill more than they need to survive, "maybe 1 or 2 people a month." But before that, 4 people died within the scope of 10 minutes.
    • Presumably the pursuit of Anna or the unexpected resistance changes the rules for the moment.
    • This is explicitly explained in the movie, that they attacked that one time in retaliation to try and kill Anna. It's made clear that it's not a regular thing in the exact same dialogue where the grave-digger says that...In fact, he says it specifically to illustrate that that attack was unusual. How did you miss that?
  • How did they get back out of that little wintery area? When they first enter it, Carl learns the hard way that they couldn't waltz back through the mirror.
    • I always assumed the mirror only opened after "in the name of God, open this door" was spoken.
    • Yeah, you just need two things to make the passage work, the invocation and a reflection. Even if Dracula knew the invocation, he still wouldn't have been able to use it, but others could... it was built to be used for someone to go and kill Dracula and come back, after all.
  • Why does it take the clock 10 minutes to strike 12 during the final battle? That completely broke my Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
    • This troper had hers broken after Van Helsing was bitten on the full moon and then told it would be three days until the next full moon.
  • Why did Dracula have a cure for lycanthropy when he could have just had, you know, a gun loaded with silver bullets? Seems easier than trying to shove a syringe into the neck of an angry werewolf.
    • Dracula was looking for a power conduit for which to animate his undead offspring and after Frankenstein's monster, a werewolf seemed like the next best candidate. It's possible that the cure was used as bait to lure desperate werewolves to Dracula's castle so that he could capture one for his goal. Presumably Velkan tried to seek it out after he got bitten which is how Dracula got ahold of him.
    • Some cultures believe that silver is just as bad for vampires as it is for werewolves. Sure, Dracula can only be killed by a werewolf, but his brides were much more fragile.
    • Well, if a werewolf isn't under Dracula's control, but doesn't know they can kill him (and why would he tell?) Dracula can say "Hey, I've got a cure. Want it?" Far easier than chasing somebody around with silver bullets.
  • What the hell is Frankenstein doing at the end? I know on the official summary it says hes going out to try and live his life, but he's going on a tiny raft through the ocean. WHAT.
    • If you had ever bothered to read the actual book "Frankenstein's Monster", you would know that he spent a great deal of his time wandering the earth.
  • If the Valerious bloodline is going to end... why not just have more kids?! Are Anna and Velkan both infertile? Is there a time limit we're not being told about, that it had to be done in nine generations? If that's the case, then they don't spell it out in the film. All Anna and/or Velkan have to do is have kids of their own, and they can put off the curse for another generation. They could use that time to train said kids to kill vampires. Plus, that's two individual sub-bloodlines capable of taking down Dracula.
    • Who's going to agree to have kids that will spend the rest of their lives fighting an immortal demon? The only people who might agree to procreating with Anna and Velkan are Anna and Velkan. Even considering that the time setting probably would've allowed it, they were too busy trying to beat Dracula to take nine months off for a pregnancy.
      • Their ancestors managed to just fine, otherwise Anna and Velkan wouldn't be there. At the very least they aren't the only people who want Dracula off the picture. And it would make more sense for them to put off dealing with Dracula to make sure even if they die all will not be lost for their family. Dracula has been around for 400 years, he can wait for several months. In fact, Velkan wouldn't even need to take such a break, he could return to the game right after his theoretic wife's pregnancy became apparent. What's wierd is them not having any more siblings who could take care of the strategic part of Valerious' war against Dracula (continuing the bloodline), while they are at front lines.
    • Plus, do you think Dracula's gonna sit around and wait for Anna to have kids? He's already attacking her—making herself vulnerable by getting knocked up is a bad idea. And those kids have to grow up—again, you think Drac's gonna just sit and wait?
  • Anna and Velkan have a whole group of people helping them fight the werewolf at the start. Who are these people and why are they not seen again? Anna could have used all the help she could get.
    • For a Friar/Tinkerer/Comic Relief character, Friar Carl proves to be damn good at making improbably difficult throws. Wooden bucket to a bat in the air? Check. Syringe to someone swinging quickly on a rope well over 20 feet away? Check. Stake to the same person on a castle from an even greater distance? Check! Why is this guy Van Helsing's supply guy instead of kicking ass alongside him?
    • If you realize that Anna is a woman in Victorian Europe as another troper noted above, the villagers might of been willing to help Velkan because they thought he was their last hope and the hero. When he failed not only do they think his sister isn't as capable, their spirits are broken and would rather live under the thumb of a tyrant than risk their lives following a princess.
  • The big reveal of Van Helsing is that only a werewolf can kill Dracula, which is oddly convenient considering Van Helsing just became one himself. After all, why would Dracula have a servant that was lethal to him? Wouldn't it be in his best interest to kill them all off? This may be a bit of a stretch, but I came to the conclusion that the werewolves in Van Helsing were originally servants of good that at some point became corrupted or enslaved by either Dracula himself, or some other form of evil. It's really the only explanation he found that makes any sense beyond plain and simple Deus ex Machina.
    • This troper chalked it up to one of two possibilities: the first was that Dracula followed the "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" school of thought (that is, keeping all werewolves where he could keep an eye on them was safer, plus he got some killer bodyguards to boot). The second is that Van Helsing was just supposed to be a Darker and Edgier adaptation of the Universal monster movies. In those, mythology didn't usually matter - anything went! So of course there were convenient connections between all of the monsters. They were following the Universal way.
    • There actually was someone in the Middle Ages-Rennaisance sort of time that suggested the exact same thing. He got whipped for such a suggestion, but its still an interesting idea.
    • The movie would still make sense - perhaps moreso - if it was a Deus ex Machina, because Van Helsing is quite explicitly referred to as a servant of God. We know that Satan helped Dracula rise to power in the movie, so it's just as plausible to assume that Van Helsing received some supernatural help of his own through all of the coincidences that helped him defeat Dracula. Especially the antidote tossing scene.
    • Now that you mention it, I just realized the whole only-a-werewolf-can-kill-Dracula thing is a reference to Universal's older Monster Mash movies (which featured reluctant werewolves) along with the original Dracula novel (which gave Dracula the power to control wolves). The Wolf Man had Larry Talbot get bitten by a gypsy werewolf played by Bela Lugosi. Abbott and Constello Meet Frankenstein had Larry Talbot kill Dracula (also played by Lugosi). So that means that Van Helsing has Dracula killed by a werewolf bitten by a gypsy werewolf controlled by Dracula, while the older stories has Dracula killed by a werewolf who was bitten by a gypsy werewolf played by Dracula. It's a massive continuity joke. The only thing to make it perfect would have been if Igor or the Monster had turned out to be vampires, too. - Polly Nim.
    • Taken from the Our Werewolves Are Different page. "An interesting variation was the Hounds of God. In the Baltic regions, it was believed that Werewolves were given their powers not by the Devil, but by God to battle the forces of the devil". If that's the case then a werewolf being the only one who can kill Dracula, who was raised by the devil, makes sense. Why he kept them around I can't say.
  • Hey, anybody miss that Van Helsing's given name in the movie is Gabriel? If he's a servant of God... you do the math. — Manu.
  • Almost certainly reading too much into it, but Dracula's being a Large Ham despite claiming to be incapable of feeling emotion does make sense if you assume he's deliberately overacting in the hope of Becoming the Mask and regaining the ability to feel.
  • Why don't any of the Villagers carry bows to deter the Vampires? It'd work a lot better than having lame pitchforks and hatchets... and one guy looks to be carrying a rake. Whats he going to do? Create an impenetrable barrier of leaves?
    • They didn't want to fight the vampires. They only killed one or two people a month and the villagers put up with that in order to live almost peacefully in the village.
      • 12-24 presumably healthy people per year is too much for any village. The movie completely fails at math. It is easily possible to calculate minimum population size that can be stable with such attrition rate above the normal, so they should have done it.
      • ...maybe most of them weren't villagers. Tourists, anyone?
      • They could handle his brides, but not Dracula himself, who would probably interfere when he finds out his brides are being shot at.
      • Look at how small the amount of villagers is. Perhaps the vampires had slowly worked their way through a good portion of them.
        Anna: A silver stake? A crucifix? What, did you think we haven't tried everything before? We've shot him, stabbed him, clubbed him, sprayed him with holy water, staked him through the heart, and STILL he lives! Do you understand? No-one knows how to kill Dracula!
  • Speaking of the above quote, WHAT? If it's been a century since they've managed to kill a bog-standard vampire, how did they ever test all this on the vampire king? Is Drac a troll and let them do it as demoralization, or were Anna's distant ancestors superhumans of some kind? It seems to me if you can manage to contain Dracula long enough to test all this (you certainly could not club Dracula to death unless he was restrained), then they should have been able to lock his ass up indefinitely.
    • Dracula's been around for 400 years. She's not saying they tried all of it at once, she's saying over the course of 400 years, at some point they've tried everything and nothing's stuck.
  • Why did Dracula kill Dr. Frankenstein? They only realise later that they can't make it work, and he was the only one who knew how... well, duh?
    • Vampires have a long history of being complete jerks to the living.
    • The reason they can't make it work is because they don't have the monster—the machine worked fine, they just didn't have the power source. It was only after Drac kills the Doc that he loses the Monster—at that point, he figured he had everything he needed. Also, Dr. Frankenstein did just run Dracula through with a sword. Sure, it didn't do anything more than put a hole in his suit, but it was pretty clear the good Doctor wasn't planning to cooperate.
  • Why does Verona save Anna? When she cuts herself free from Aleera she was heading for the ground head-first so why does Verona pull her out of the air? They wanted her dead and she would have died if she'd hit the ground.
    • They wanted to kill her by drinking her blood. Assuming this movie follows most other vampire tropes, blood from a dead person is either poisonous or outright lethal. They probably assumed they'd have all the time they needed once they caught her.
    • Dracula says to Anna at the ball that he wants to make her his bride. Presumably the others had orders to take her alive so Dracula himself could turn her.
  • Why is Velkan's gun the only one with silver bullets? Wouldn't it be easier to shoot and kill the werewolf at the beginning if everyone had at least one silver bullet?
    • Silver's fucking expensive, even nowadays. Imagine trying to find enough of it to make enough bullets for a hunting party's worth.
    • They could have raided the entire castle's supply of silver for just that one hunting trip. They also might have wanted to save the silver since there's so little of it. So they give it to Velkan the leader so it doesn't get wasted.
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