Van Helsing is a 2004 American action horror film directed by Stephen Sommers. It stars Hugh Jackman as vigilante monster hunter Gabriel Van Helsing, and Kate Beckinsale. The film is a homage and tribute to the Universal Horror Monster films from the 1930s and '40s (also produced by Universal Studios), of which director Stephen Sommers is a fan.
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In 1887, Transylvanian Doctor Frankenstein (Samuel West) brings to life his Monster (Shuler Hensley) with the aid of his assistant Igor (Kevin J. O'Connor), and Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh). Dracula kills Frankenstein after revealing that he helped him only so he could use the Monster to bring his undead children to life. The Monster then escapes to a windmill, which is burned down by a pursuing mob. The mob flees as Dracula and his three brides, Verona (Silvia Colloca), Aleera (Elena Anaya) and Marishka (Josie Maran), mourn the loss of the Monster and their chance to bring their children to life.
One year later, the Knights of the Holy Order, stationed at the Vatican, dispatch Gabriel Van Helsing, who has amnesia, to kill Dracula. He is also tasked with preventing the last of the Valerious family from falling into purgatory; the family swore to kill Dracula nine generations ago and is unable to enter Heaven until they succeed. He is given a torn piece of paper with an insignia on it. He is joined by Carl (David Wenham), a friar who provides support and weapons.
Arriving in Transylvania, the two meet Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale), who tells them her brother Velkan (Will Kemp) was recently killed by a werewolf. Van Helsing then saves her from Dracula's brides as they attack the village, ending with Van Helsing killing Marishka as the others escape. Anna then takes the pair back to her castle. Anna is determined to kill Dracula herself, but Van Helsing is unwilling for her to take the risk, knowing that she is the last of the Valerious family. When she resists, he gases her to sleep and puts her in her bed. Later in the night, Anna awakens from her deep, dreamless sleep and encounters Velkan, now a werewolf himself. After Velkan flees, Van Helsing and Anna track him to Frankenstein's castle, only to find Dracula attempting to give life to his children using Velkan as a substitute for the Monster. Anna frees Velkan but he becomes a werewolf again. Dracula confronts Van Helsing, who recognizes him from his past.
While escaping, Van Helsing and Anna fall into a cave. There, they find Frankenstein's Monster alive. Van Helsing decides to take him to Rome so he can be protected. They flee in a carriage, but while crossing the Carpathian Mountains, the brides and Velkan, who have been pursuing the group, attack. The carriage plummets down a precipice and Verona tries to save the Monster, but on opening the door reveals that it is a decoy carriage containing only stakes bundled against explosives, which kill her when the carriage hits the bottom. The genuine carriage is attacked and Velkan is killed by Van Helsing, but not before Van Helsing is bitten by him; when the next full moon occurs, Van Helsing will become a werewolf. Anna is then captured by Aleera and taken to Budapest.
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