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21st Feb 2024

People are only just discovering ‘criminally underrated’ fantasy horror starring Hugh Jackman

Charlie Herbert

hugh jackman in van helsing

Film fans have been left stunned after discovering one of Hugh Jackman’s most underrated movies.

As one of the biggest names in Hollywood, there are several major movies that spring to mind when you mention Hugh Jackman.

Top of the list is likely to be any of the X-Men films, or films in which he’s played Wolverine. Then, you might go to The Greatest Showman. After that, there’s films like Les Misérables, The Prestige and Flushed Away.

But do remember when he starred in an action horror film from the director of the Mummy films ((you know, the good ones with Brendan Fraser in) which features more monsters than you can shake a wooden stake at?

No? Well, allow us to introduce you to Van Helsing, arguably the most underrated film of Jackman’s career.

This 2004 movie sees Jackman play monster hunter Gabriel Van Helsing as he is sent to Transylvania to kill Count Dracula and, along with featuring the iconic vampire, Van Helsing is a veritable who’s-who of villains.

It’s like if there was a MCU multiverse for classic literature monsters. Frankenstein, Igor, Dr. Jekyll, werewolves – they’re all in this film.

The synopsis on IMDb reads: “The famed monster hunter is sent to Transylvania to stop Count Dracula, who is using Dr. Frankenstein’s research and a werewolf for nefarious purposes.

Alongside Jackman as the titular monster hunter, the film also stars Kate Beckinsale (Emma, Pearl Harbor, Total Recall), Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge, Elvis) and David Wenham (Lord of the Rings, 300, Elvis).

Now, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that critics didn’t go wild for a film like this, with the film holding a rating of 24 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Van Helsing was a bigger success commercially though, grossing more than $300m worldwide and earning a respectable score of B from audiences ratings on CinemaScore.

The film was recently shared on Facebook page CoveredGeekly, who labelled Van Helsing one of Hugh Jackman’s “most underrated flicks”, arguing that it “deserved far more praise during its original release.”

Thousands took to the comments to agree with the statement.

One person wrote: “I have yet to see a film portray werewolves as well as this film did. 100/10.”

Another said: “Wasn’t underrated by me! One of my faves by him.”

“I was obsessed with this movie for awhile when it came out, it was so cool. Still a favourite,” a third commented.

Someone else went as far to say that it is their “favourite movie of all time,” explaining: “It has Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance, Horror, and Comedy all at once. The cast in the film is tremendous. And the soundtrack music is incredible.”

Over on X, one person wrote: “I wish we could get another masterpiece like Van Helsing (2004) like— Such a perfect style and does great Justice to both Werewolves & Vampires alike.”

Another said: “2004’s Van helsing is a goddamn masterpiece!”

If you want to give Van Helsing a whirl, it sadly isn’t available on any streaming services, but can be purchased or rented from YouTube, Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video.

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