Bram Stoker's Van Helsing


Action / Horror

Plot summary

November 25, 2022 at 09:10 AM


Steve Lawson

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
792.29 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...
1.59 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...
786.71 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S 30 / 24
1.58 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S 14 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zardoz-13 5 / 10

Another Take On Dracula Without Dracula

Theatrical movie posters and cover art for straight-to-video DVD & Blu-ray releases share one thing in common. Apart from naming the stars and the title, each misleads you about the film's narrative content. Typically, what you see in the cover art appears nowhere in the film. The cover art for seasoned British horror director Steve Lawson's chiller "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" is a prime example. The art department makes "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" look like the poster to "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" (2012). In the moonlight, a man wearing a formal suit, tie, and coat sits on a tombstone while bats are swarming the night skies. Hundreds of skulls are strewn about his ankles. Not only does he have an ax propped on his left shoulder, with blood dripping off its blade, but he also clutches a large knife in his right hand. He sits slightly hunched forward so the brim of his stovepipe hat obscures his eyes. First, nobody wields an ax in Lawson's film. Second, you never see any bats during the film's 86-minute running time. Third, nothing as frightening as this image of a demented man occurs in Lawson's film. Fourth, Dracula enthusiasts will shrink in horror because Lawson's adaptation of Stoker's novel confines the eponymous vampire to a cameo. Dracula appears only momentarily when he approaches Lucy Westenra's bed. Indeed, the notorious Count is shown only from the shoulders down. Like Stoker's novel, the shape-shifting Dracula enters Lucy's bedroom as white mist. Never do we see a close-up of the Count with his fangs bared. Basically, "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" is a Dracula movie without Dracula! Otherwise, this unrated film does take place in Victorian England.

"Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" begins outside London, at Hillingham House, one of Arthur Holmwood's many properties. Lucy has chosen Holmwood as her fiancé over Dr. John Seward. Sitting at a bedside desk, she pens a letter to her dearest friend Mina Murray. Mina's fiancé Jonathan Harker is recuperating with her in faraway Budapest. Only those familiar with the novel will know Harker escaped from Castle Dracula after the Count imprisoned him. In Stoker's novel, Harker was the real estate agent dispatched to Transylvania to finalize the Count's purchase of Carfax Abby in England. In Lawson's film, Lucy writes Mina (Helen Crevel of "Survival Instinct") that she hasn't been feeling well. Arthur believes Lucy is afflicted with "pre-wedding nerves." Lucy pauses when she hears a soft growl outside her window. A gust of wind carries an ominous white mist that hovers dramatically outside Lucy's bedroom window. Creeping in through the fissures in the window, the mist clouds up the room. Arthur summons his friend Dr. Seward (Joe Street of "Escape from Cannibal Farm") to examine Lucy. When Seward discovers Lucy the next day, she is sprawled on the floor of her room. Seward requests that his mentor Professor Van Helsing (Mark Topping of "Jekyll and Hyde") travel to London and observe Lucy. During the evocative opening credits sequence, Van Helsing is shown riding in a train through rural countryside, with the locomotive's huge wheels churning up the miles.

No sooner does Van Helsing arrive than he annoys Holmwood (Tom Hendryk of "The Mermaid's Curse") with his lack of transparency about Lucy's condition. Van Helsing hypnotizes Lucy, and Holmwood is infuriated. Meantime, the Professor suspects demoniac possession may account for Lucy's anemia. Lucy almost dies after Dracula visits her 16 minutes into this 80-minute epic. Had it not been for their maid taking Lucy breakfast, Arthur's fiancée would have died. Hurriedly, Van Helsing arranges a blood transfusion for Lucy with Seward as donor. Predictably, Holmwood is upset because he wasn't the donor. An undercurrent of jealousy and reproach creates friction between Seward and Holmwood. Not surprisingly, Holmwood dismisses Van Helsing as a rank charlatan. Later, when he returns, the Professor places a spray of obnoxious garlic flowers in Lucy's bedroom window. He watches as the mist gathers outside, but the garlic blocks its entrance. Sadly, the clueless Holmwood removes the garlic, and Lucy must undergo another transfusion. This time Arthur is the donor. This time things go awry, too. Later, Lucy emerges as a vampire with fangs, but Arthur cannot believe his eyes. While maintaining a vigil by her casket, Arthur is stunned when the lid rattles, and he cannot prevent Lucy's departure. Unlike Stoker's Lucy who quenched her rabid thirst for blood by feeding off street orphans, Lawson has her imitate Jack the Ripper and attack White Chapel District prostitutes. Naturally, Arthur wants to redeem himself. Eventually, he confronts the abject horror of Lucy as an 'undead' vampire. Lucy fails to convince Arthur to join her and feed eternally off the blood of others.

Lawson deserves kudos for taking a different approach to Stoker's oft-filmed masterpiece, but both his low-budget and small cast prompted those disparities. Dracula is never glimpsed more than once and then only from the shoulders down. Anybody familiar with Stoker's novel will understand writer & director Lawson's discrepancies. In the film, Arthur removes the flowers. In the novel, Lucy's mother confiscated the flowers. Production values are borderline. Apart from Van Helsing's train trip, Lawson rarely allows his characters to venture beyond Hillingham House. Produced in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Lawson, his cast, and his crew worked around safeguards imposed by medical authorities. The ultimate flaw in "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" is Lawson's reliance on dialogue rather than melodramatic action to depict its horror.

Reviewed by nogodnomasters 2 / 10

The Beast must quench its thirst

The film opens in England and Lucy (Charlie Bond) has already been bitten and Van Helsing (Mark Topping) soon appears and doesn't tell anyone what is going on for a long time.

The film was slow but well constructed for a low budget. They left out any scene that might require special effects which consisted of a lone set of pointy teeth. They had better vampire special effects before they had sound for crying out loud. I would have rated it higher except it is a vampire film or at least one about Van Helsing from the title and they never really achieved either one.

Guide: No swearing, sex, or nudity.

Reviewed by paul_haakonsen 4 / 10

The tale of Dracula from Abraham Van Helsing's point of view...

Well, while the 2021 movie "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" from writer and director Steve Lawson wasn't as bad as I had believed and feared it to be, then it should be said that the movie does suffer from it being a story that has been told so many times before that it is starting to lose its appeal in a new presentation.

"Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" provided me with somewhat adequate entertainment. Sure, the storyline is one that is rather familiar to me already, but it should be said that the atmosphere of the movie and the acting in the movie actually helped make it watchable.

Now, this 2021 movie "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" is by no means revolutionary, nor is it a movie that was particularly necessary, as the story of "Dracula" has been told many times before. But "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" takes the story and presents it from Abraham Van Helsing's point of view, and thus effectively putting Dracula out of the equation, for better or worse.

"Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" suffers from its pacing. The storytelling is somewhat monotonous and tedious at times, which makes for a somewhat prolonged viewing experience. And that is the main reason why my rating of "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" fell below average.

While watchable, "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" is hardly an outstanding movie, nor is it a movie that you'll watch more than once. Now, it wasn't a bad or poor movie, but it just didn't have enough punch to turn it into a remarkable movie experience.

My rating of "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" lands on a four out of ten stars.

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