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Van Helsing | 2004 | PG-13 | - 4.7.2

19th century monster hunter Dr. Gabriel Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) travels to Transylvania in an attempt to rid the world of supernatural evil as personified by Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh), the Wolf Man (Will Kemp), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein's Monster (Shuler Hensley). He is assisted by the descendant (Kate Beckinsale) of a family committed to destroying Dracula. Also with Elena Anaya and David Wenham. Directed by Stephen Sommers. [2:25]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - Two women caress and kiss a man on the neck and face (it is a vampire and his two wives). A man and a woman kiss. A woman asks a man (a friar) what she can do to repay him for saving her life, he whispers into her ear, she says "you can't do that" and we see them waking up together the next morning (she is in a corset and he in nightclothes). A vampire and a woman dance together, they kiss (although she seems to be protesting, he somehow has control over her), he dips her and caresses her cleavage. When a man and a woman fall to the ground the man falls on his back and the woman on top of him with her crotch at his face. When the female vampires transform their form is female but without detail (we see the form of breasts but no nipples, for example). A woman wears a top that is low-cut revealing cleavage and it is flesh-toned with red patterns positioned at her nipples that in some scenes make it look as if she is bare-breasted with a tightly laced corset around her abdomen and skin tight pants. When the female vampires transform to human form they wear short tops or extremely low cut dresses that reveal cleavage and bare abdomens. A man is bare-chested with torn and tattered pants. When a giant's pants slip down we see a bit of buttock cleavage. We hear that a vampire has three wives.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - When the male vampire transforms he grows much taller, grows enormous wings, his mouth is filled with pointed teeth and his head and face become more animalistic; when the female vampires transform they become ashen, wings sprout from their backs, their mouths are filled with pointed fangs, their feet and hands grow long nails and their eyes are yellow. A man begins to transform into a werewolf, he writhes and screams and tears off his flesh to reveal fur underneath, his head takes the form of a huge wolf with enormous fangs and he grows very large claws. There are creatures that are referred to as the vampires' servants; they are small in stature, covered completely with cloaks, wear masks that look like deep-sea diving masks and when they speak they sound gravely. A man draws a sword on another man (a vampire) who lunges into it forcing the sword through his abdomen (we hear squishing and see the point protrude from his back); he bares his fangs and bites the man holding the sword in the neck (we hear crunching, screaming, see the attack in silhouette and see blood on the vampire's mouth afterward). A man is tied to a tree, we hear growling and snarling in the forest in the distance, a werewolf lunges toward him, the man is pulled up into another tree, his feet dangle down and the werewolf jumps for him and a woman with a sword charges the werewolf. A werewolf is inside a cage where he is shot repeatedly (we see green goo spurting from the cage), but he jumps out and chases a woman to a sheer cliff, while a man shoots him and he is knocked off the cliff and into water far below. A werewolf and a vampire fight, both snapping and slashing at each other and tossing each other across a room, and the werewolf bites the vampire's throat (we see the large open wound and watch the vampire writhe and disintegrate). A female vampire is shot with an arrow, and she is pinned to the roof of a building where she screams, writhes and disintegrates. A female vampire is hit by many stakes causing her to crumble and disintegrate (we hear her screaming). A woman stabs a vampire with a stake and we see the vampire disintegrate and burst into green goo. Several vampires disintegrate when a bomb explodes. A man stabs a vampire through the chest (we hear a squish), the vampire staggers and pulls the stake out, the man holds a cross in front of the vampire, the vampire grabs it, it bursts into flames, the vampire staggers, but it recovers. A man and a giant (he's Mr. Hyde) fight: the man is hit in the face and sails into beams across the room (we see blood on his mouth), the man shoots at the giant, swings saw-like weapons at the giant slashing him on the abdomen (we see a bloody gash), and he cuts one of the giant's arms off (we see the arm flipping around on the floor and see the bloody stump). During a fight a man is thrown off a rooftop and as he falls to the ground he shoots a grappling hook that goes through a giant's abdomen and out his back; the man lands on the ground uninjured, he is pulled back up by the giant, and the giant falls to his death (we hear a splat when he hits the ground and see the twisted body). A woman climbs a rope, she is followed by vampires' servants who try to pull her off, she kicks one off into a pool of boiling liquid below, she cuts the rope and two others fall into the pool. A man lies dead on a table with blood trickling from his neck and two vampires drink blood from goblets. We see the charred remains of a man. Baby vampires swarm toward a village where they feed on people; the people scream and run, the vampires pick people up, we see a few bitten, and one person is tossed into the air and many babies swarm around him. A werewolf lunges at a man who ducks and the werewolf hits another man throwing him into an open grave (he appears dead) and the first man shoots at the werewolf. Two vampires bare their fangs at a woman and very nearly bite her. A vampire bares his fangs and moves toward a woman's neck, his cape catches fire and he lets her go. A vampire punches a woman (we see blood on her mouth) the vampire licks her face with a long pointed tongue and moves toward her neck (we see his with pointed fangs). Several vampires bare their fangs toward a man (their teeth grow and their jaws and faces stretch). A man shoots at three vampires (we see holes open in their wings), one vampire picks up a woman, a man jumps and grabs the woman's feet, and the vampire drops them to the ground. One vampire is shot in the shoulder and pulls the arrow out (we hear a squish and watch as the holes close up), a man is picked up and bitten in the neck, and a cow is picked up and thrown through the roof of a building. A woman is grabbed by a vampire, she cuts the vampire, the woman is tossed and picked up by another vampire who is shot in the leg, the woman is dropped into a tree and falls down hitting branches along the way and slamming to the ground. A werewolf lunges at a man, and the man jumps out of the way and shoots the werewolf. A man is strapped onto a table and raised up where an electric charge is run through him (the man screams and writhes). A man shoots at many baby vampires as they fly away and we see several splatter into green goo when they are hit. A monster (Frankenstein's monster) strapped to a table is struck by electricity and comes to life (we see his very bad teeth and bandaged face and hear him moan). Frankenstein's monster is encased in a block of ice, then we see him strapped to a table where he writhes and screams and is struck by bolts of electricity. Frankenstein's monster throws a piece of a machine into a vampire slamming him back into a fireplace; we see the vampire emerge in flames with charred skin and watch as the skin re-forms over his skeleton. Frankenstein's monster attacks a man and a woman, the man is thrown and the woman is held, the man shoves the monster against a rock wall, the monster's head pops open (he closes the pieces again), and the man shoots the monster with chemically treated darts that make him sleep. Frankenstein's monster throws a vampire against a wall and they fight. A woman senses something ominous as she walks through a dark castle, she looks up and sees a werewolf above her, she shoots and he runs. A vampire bares his fangs and roars at two female vampires and they cringe and scream. A windmill where Frankenstein's monster and a man are hiding is set on fire, the structure collapses, they fall into the flames and we hear a scream. A man falls off a bridge, to his death. A man drives a horse-drawn carriage through a foggy forest, he is swooped up by a female vampire, she drops him, he's picked up again and dropped again, the carriage approaches a broken bridge, the horses jump across, and the carriage falls. A man throws a bladed device at another man, pinning him to a wall. A man and a woman glide along a cable, high in the air, a werewolf jumps on the cable and it breaks, sending the man and the woman to the ground and the werewolf into water below. A man is kicked around by a vampire, and he is tossed through the air. A man grabs a woman's face and we see his hand begin to transform into that of a werewolf. A man and a woman hang from the sides of a speeding carriage; the woman is over a sheer cliff and the man is positioned with the wheel threatening his crotch. A man goes into a dark cathedral, a giant swings down from a rafter in front of him, they threaten each other, and the giant smokes a cigar, and puts it out on his tongue and eats it. We see caverns filled with cocoon-like sacks that drip goo and after they are charged by electricity they begin to throb; we hear a lot of squishing as a man sticks his hand in one and pulls out a lot of goo, a tiny claw reaches out of one cocoon toward a woman, and a bat-like creature pops out of another. Creatures in flames flail and writhe and run through a room screaming and gurgling. Baby vampires implode and splatter into green goo in a few scenes. A vampire's face is burned by acid (we see the skin become blackened and blistered, and then watch as it re-forms). A man pokes at a werewolf chained to a wall and he lunges toward him and growls (we see this in silhouette). We hear a woman's scream and see her lying dead on the ground. A man lies wounded on the ground and dies. A man holds a woman's dead body and cries, she is placed on a pyre and set ablaze (we see the flames and the outline of a body). A vampire punches a woman in the face and carries her away. A woman swings from a cable, is knocked off and tumbles onto a rock wall. Frankenstein's monster slips down a wall, grabs a cable and swings high in the air. A vampire throws a woman across a room, and a man is poked with an electric prod. A man and a woman fall through a burned out structure. A man has large bloody gashes on his chest. A man threatens to cut another man's fingers off and a woman says, "I'll cut something off." People with hatchets and sickles surround two men and threaten to kill them. A man grabs a man by the throat and holds him in the air. A man is nearly pierced by a stake (it hits a wall near his head). A man swings a shovel at another man, who stops him. A mob with lit torches marches toward a gate, it breaks through, marches along a bridge and breaks through another gate. When lightning flashes on a man's face we see fangs and his skeleton. A man sprays a woman in the face with a chemical that causes her to fall unconscious. We hear that a man was murdered by another man. We hear about a man's horrific nightmares (of death and battles). We hear that vampires kill villagers in order to survive. People test weapons in a laboratory: nitroglycerin, guns, etc.


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LANGUAGE 2 - 4 mild obscenities, 9 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A character smokes a cigar. People are shown drinking alcohol.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Evil, religion, grave robbery, science over God, sin, doing God's work, purgatory, vampires, werewolves, supernatural monsters, Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, revenge, love, family, honor, friendship.

MESSAGE - Family is the most important thing in life. The appearance of monstrosity does not necessarily imply evil.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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