Hugh Jackman’s Most Underrated Horror Movie Is Tearing Up The Streaming Charts

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Hugh Jackman’s 2004 movie Van Helsing is in the top ten on Hulu.

By Vic Medina
| Published

A Hugh Jackman horror movie from 2004 has cracked the top ten on Hulu, hitting #8 this week. Van Helsing is a PG-13 monster-hunting thriller from Stephen Sommers, the director behind the 1999 reboot of The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. The film features the classic character from the classic 1897 novel Dracula and takes him on an adventure across Europe as he hunts various monsters until his path crosses with a beautiful vampire killer (Kate Beckinsale) on a quest to stop Count Dracula and his plot to use the research of Dr. Frankenstein for villainous purposes.

The film features an all-star roster of Universal monster movie characters, including Frankenstein, Dracula (and his brides), Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and a werewolf. Sommers is a self-professed fan of the Universal monsters, and he stuffs the film from beginning to end with them. This ends up being both a positive and a negative, but one thing’s for sure, the film is never boring, as Hugh Jackman finds inventive ways to battle the creatures.

Van Helsing has a solid cast, with Hugh Jackman making for an impressive leading man. It isn’t a particularly faithful depiction of the literary Van Helsing, as he’s more of a mix of Indiana Jones and Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell from The Mummy. Fresh from his star-making role as Wolverine, Jackman was one of the biggest stars in the world at the time, and he didn’t disappoint.

Kate Beckinsale is absolutely stunning as the monster hunter Anna Valerious, and even though this is a role similar to her character of Selene in the Underworld films, she gives it a much different take alongside Hugh Jackman. Beckinsale reportedly was miserable making the film, however, as she had to wear an uncomfortable corset the entire time. When filming was completed, she wanted to burn them all, she later recalled.

The film also stars Richard Roxburgh (The Crown) as Dracula, and unfortunately, he’s a bit too over-the-top in the role. David Wenham (300) appears as Carl, Hugh Jackman’s sidekick with too many quips and one-liners for his own good. Kevin J. O’Connor, a frequent collaborator with Stephen Sommers, appears as Igor, and although he’s quite good under the heavy makeup, the poor script doesn’t give him much to work with.

The film has its faults, as most critics were quick to point out. Like so many of Sommers’ other films, there’s a heavy over-reliance on CGI effects. Many of the shots just look bad by today’s standards; in fact, they weren’t particularly good for 2004 either. The humor is almost groan-worthy at times – rather than being playful and tongue-in-cheek, the jokes often ruin some nice moments for Hugh Jackman.

Hugh jackman

The film scored an abysmal 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics ripping it for its silliness, poor writing, and bad special effects. Hugh Jackman got solid marks from critics, although they point out his character was more style over substance, relying on his charisma to carry the role. Rotten Tomatoes audiences rated it at 57%, finding it entertaining, but too messy to truly make it a classic.

Still, the film did very well at the box office, grossing over $300 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. Over $120 million of that was in the United States alone, as audiences seemed more interested to see Hugh Jackman, who had already achieved superstardom as Wolverine in the X-Men films.