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YMMV / Van Helsing

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  • Awesome Music: Alan Silvestri's score. Here's a taste of the scoring sessions.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
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  • Critic-Proof: Critics ripped this movie to shreds, but it was one of the biggest blockbusters of '04.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Brides. In any other story they'd just be nameless background characters that'd be killed off quickly (and indeed, that's exactly how they're treated in their debut appearance). Here they're actually deadly minions with distinctive personalities, desires and backstories - well, aside from Marishka, who does get killed fairly early on - and give the heroes a run for their money. More often then not, they're what people remember most about the movie. Aleera is the Ensemble Dark Horse of the Brides herself. Many fans sought out more of Elena Anaya's films in her native Spain, after being introduced to her through this movie.
    • This version of Frankenstein's monster was likewise well received thanks to the actor's portrayal.
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  • Evil Is Sexy: The Brides again. Kind of a given, though.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Dracula shows interest in making Anna his bride, and a lot of his dialog with Van Helsing is pretty friendly considering Van Helsing is the one who originally killed him.
    • Dracula's bride Aleera also seems very interested in Anna, calling her "my love" and making claims like "I know what lurks in your lusting heart."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: It's not only that the film's Gothic visuals bear quite a strong resemblance to the aesthetics of Bloodborne, published 11 years later, but in the way of further similarities of the film to the game, also sports some sort of trick weapon in the form of the extendable stake, a monster hunter who increasingly transforms into a beast as the main character (quite apart from others being subjected to the same kind of transformation), and, like Bloodborne's Cainhurst Castle, a snow-covered vampire's castle hidden away from sight - and even accessed via what looks suspiciously like one of the fog doors of the Soulsborne franchise, complete with the gesture of pushing through the gate with one hand extended in front of oneself and the gate being impassable from the other side.
  • Ho Yay: Between Dracula and Van Helsing. Dracula seems a hell of a lot more interested in seducing Van Helsing than killing him. Especially when he calls him by his first name and drops hints about how close they used to be. It is also made worse by the videogame and the original script (turns out, they actually toned down on the Ho Yay...)
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  • Memetic Badass: Hugh Jackman.
  • Narm:
    • Velkan gives a spectacularly amusing "NEVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" when yelling at Dracula. Dracula's response start dancing with an invisible partner. Huh.
    • When he discovers his father's body, Velkan gives the weirdest Big "NO!" ever - through clenched teeth for some reason. The result is hilarious.
    • The extremely OTT reaction the Brides have at the beginning when the windmill with Frankenstein's creature blows up.
    • Dracula's reaction to Marishka's death - "MARIIIIIISHKAAAAAAAAA!" - and then marching up the wall to shout at his two remaining brides on the ceiling, all while Chewing the Scenery like it's Frankenstein's neck. Plus their hair and clothes are still obeying the laws of gravity and hanging down - or up, depending on the shot - making them all look ridiculous. Just after his realizing Marishka's death is just as hilariously bad as screaming her name: he may as well be fluttering down on little butterfly wings by how overdone and silly a pose he uses.
      • To be fair Dracula is supposed ot have no real emotions, so maybe his over the topness, is him just trying to parrot them and overshooting?
    • Kate Beckinsale's attempt at a Transylvanian/Romanian accent is absolutely hilarious.
    • It's supposed to be a sad moment but a whacking great image of Anna appearing in the sky after her death is just bizarre.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Dracula and Frankenstein's monster. Plenty of scenes have them hamming it up, and it works.
    • Marishka's cackling during the village attack. You can tell her actress is having a ball.
    • For some Anna appearing in the sky after her death is still moving, despite the silliness.
  • Never Live It Down: Anna can't live down the amount of times she has to be saved in the earlier parts of the film. She does at least successfully drive the carriage from Transylvania to Budapest and kill Aleera.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The video game takes several departures from the film, making it Darker and Edgier, but features all but three of the film's cast (Beckinsale, Anaya and Wenham) doing character voices and was generally well received.
  • Older Than They Think: In two directions: this film features Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Wolf Man, Mr. Hyde and the Creature From The Black Lagoon was also considered for an appearance, years before Universal launched their "Dark Universe". However, Universal first crossed over their monsters in 1943's Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, with Dracula and The Invisible Man joining the party in subsequent sequels.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Robbie Coltrane as Mr Hyde. He was even smoking a damn cigar while doing the voice work!
  • Retroactive Recognition: Wonder Woman (2017) fans might recognise Aleera as Dr Poison.
  • Special Effect Failure: The carriage jumping across the bridge unfortunately looks like very obvious CGI in a film with otherwise very good effects.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This movie is very, very Castlevania. Namely when Dracula turns into a bat-demon (cue "Dance of Illusion").
  • Strangled by the Red String: Some feel that Anna and Van Helsing don't appear to have any connection that warrants The Big Damn Kiss they get. They do bond in the second act but it could easily be a platonic or friendly connection.
  • So Bad, It's Good: As long as you don't take the movie too seriously.
  • Spiritual Licensee: This movie is essentially Ravenloft or Castlevania with automatic crossbows instead of whips. The Reveal that Dracula is really a member of the same Valerious clan that fights him is similar to Dracula being a Belmont in the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow continuity, made later. That Dracula is even named Gabriel.
  • Squick: Van Helsing digging through a vampire Egg Sack to see what the undead vampire-babies inside look like.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Although Anna is introduced as a supposedly competent heroine, she spends far too much time getting captured and not doing anything right. If the movie had actually shown that she was out of her depth and had her evolve into a competent fighter, she might have come across better.
  • Tear Jerker: Anna's death. Van Helsing even cradles her in his arms while crying.
  • Ugly Cute: The baby vampires.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The Brides' harpy forms still hold up quite well, pulled off with some state-of-the-art motion capture technique.
    • The prequel movie is very well-animated, especially in scenes with fire.
  • Wangst: Dracula's first appearance after the prologue boils down to "I can't feel emotions, so I'm going to be emotional about it!"


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