Van Helsing

Stephen Sommer’s latest foray into the Universal Horror archives left a lot of people upset. Not me. The characters were fun, I loved the excessive CGI, and the music was amazing. A definite “popcorn” flick, but that’s what good adventure films do. See, people are trying to re-classify the film as horror or action and grade it on those levels just so they can criticize it. But Van Helsing is a pulse-pounding, thrill-ride of an adventure which I loved. Now to the Q&A section.

Q. Why does Mr. Hyde devolve into Dr. Jekyll after breaking the rose window of Notre Dame? For that matter, why does his arm devolve when it’s separated from his body?

A. With no real background information on Sommers interpretation of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, we can only speculate as to what would make him change back. My guess is that Mr. Hyde, the murderous persona, was obliterated some point during his fall, leaving poor Dr. Jekyll to die.

Q. What’s that yellow electrical wave coming out of Velkan when he is strapped into Dr Frankenstein’s machine?

A. Life energy? The way the script went, it’s the only thing that kind of makes sense.

Q. Why does Dracula have a cure for werewolf venom?

A. So that he can cure the werewolf that could kill him. He has control over werewolves, but as Carl discovers from the inscription around the hidden painting, even a man with a strong will who claims to be praised by knights can become a werewolf. So whoever that strong willed person may be, he would be able to resist Dracula’s hold over him, and also be able to kill him by biting him. Therefore, Dracula plans to cure this strong willed person of werewolf-ism and remain immortal.

Q. How can Anna Valerious, who fell out of a tree (hitting all the branches on the way down) and bounced off of stone columns be killed after being crushed by a werewolf on a chaise?

A. It’s part of the bargain Valerious Sr. made with God. His descendents “cannot die or enter heaven as long as Dracula lives.” This means (I think) that his descendents are impervious to pain, but they can be killed. This is the only logical explanation, because she is crushed into the couch AFTER Van Helsing bites and kills Dracula. At that instant, she becomes as sensitive to pain as any un-cursed human being and moment’s later crushed to death. Yeah, that’s stupid, but hey, I don’t make the rules, I just listen.

Overall, the movie suffered from too much exposition. Now that may sound ironic, but it’s true. They had to remind the popular audience what vampires and werewolves are and how they can be killed, as well as the mythology behind Dracula and Van Helsing. The sequel should be that much more thrilling because the audience will already know all of that (ala X-Men vs. X-2). But I do hope Dracula stays dead. See, he seems to be the only one who really knows what happened to Van Helsing’s parents. Van Helsing and Dracula seem to have such an intricate relationship that is seems impossible to explore that with him dead. Imohtep’s resurrection in The Mummy Returns made sense because he wasn’t killed at the end of The Mummy, just smothered in a pool of lost souls. But Dracula’s resurrection? It’s impossible. Right?

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