Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing is a 2021 British horror film that focuses on the legend of Dracula through the eyes of his greatest foe.
Written, photographed and directed by Steve Lawson (Jekyll and Hyde; Ripper Untold; Saltwater: The Battle for Ramree Island; The Haunting of Alcatraz; Pentagram; The Exorcism of Karen Walker; Hellriser; KillerSaurus; Nocturnal Activity) from a screenplay written by Simon Patrick Avedon.
The Creativ Studios production stars Mark Topping (The Haunting of Pendle Hill; Jekyll and Hyde; The Haunting of Alcatraz), Charlie Bond (Powertool Cheerleaders vs the Boyband of the Screeching Dead; Pandamonium; Hellriser), Tom Hendryk (Nest of Vampires; The Mermaid’s Curse; The Haunting of Alcatraz) Joe Street (The House of Violent Desire; Escape from Cannibal Farm) and Helen Crevel (The Haunting of Alcatraz; Curse of the Witch’s Doll; Killersaurus).
The soundtrack score was composed by Will Van de Crommert (House of Dolls; The Wolf Catcher).
England, 1897. Abraham Van Helsing (Mark Topping) receives a letter from his former student Doctor John Seward (Joe Street) requesting his urgent assistance because his former fiancée Lucy (Charlie Bond) is showing all the signs of vampirism. Van Helsing investigates…
“The film is an okay effort, nothing earth-shattering, nothing terrible either. Steve Lawson likes to shoot his films on low budgets. This is the case so much here that the entire film seems to take place inside a single big old house with one side trip to the local church where Lucy’s coffin lies. The film makes a fair attempt at period atmosphere and costuming with one glaring exception…” Moria
” …a low-budget and small-scale affair that focuses on character development and atmosphere rather than blood and guts. Just like a myriad of other Dracula tales before it to be honest. But what does this one have over the others? Nothing much, apart from a subtle and nuanced way of connecting Dracula’s vampiric legacy to one Jack the Ripper.” Nerdly
“I understand that Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing was a low budget film. But I also know Lawson can deliver more than leftover Halloween fangs even on a tight budget. Nor is it a reason to limit the film to endless tensionless scenes of three men talking. The film needed some scares and/or action but it just dragged along until what passes for a climax, and even that manages to be dull.” Voices from the Balcony
Cast and characters:
Mark Topping … Abraham Van Helsing
Charlie Bond … Lucy Westenra
Tom Hendryk … Arthur Holmwood
Joe Street … Doctor John Seward
Helen Crevel … Mina Harker
Demi Savva … Maid
Emily Brooks … Second Victim
Laura Heybrock … First Victim
James Hamer-Morton … Undertaker/The Count
Jim Morris … Coachman
Matthew Johnson … Coachman
Shot in 2020.
MOVIES and MANIA says:
Despite a leisurely pace, Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing is still worth a look for horror fans that enjoy period-set productions. Relationship jealousies and some amusing double-entendres elevate the dramatic proceedings. That said, the film’s obviously low budget and limited housebound scope could be negatives for those seeking a more robust vampiric tale.