8:00 PM, 13th August, 2004
Van Helsing, the vampire hunter from the pen of Bram Stoker, is brought to life by Hugh Jackman as the classic dark and brooding character. He's the Mr Fix-it to a cloaked society bent on ridding the world of evil. Think Bob the Builder with weapons, a bad attitude and a mysterious past who swings, punches, shoots, attacks and asks questions later. These are useful attributes when he is up against some of history's greatest nasties, the Wolfman, Frankenstein's Monster and Dracula (Roxburgh, who is fantastic). Van Helsing puts its heroes up against these villains and the result is explosive.
How does he meet up with the baddies? Well, after coming back from a successful mission, he is sent to Transylvania to meet up with the devilishly good looking Anna Valerious (Beckinsale). Together with Carl (Wenham), Van Helsing's quirky friar, who steals the entire movie in my opinion, the three of them try to stop Dracula's plan to kill quite a few humans. And when I say quite a few, I mean all of them. This great movie is laden with modern special effects and great character interplay. It's quite a ride, and one I'm going on again.
10:32 PM, 13th August, 2004
When there's no more room in Hell, the dead shall walk the earth and everyone that's still alive will just hang out at the mall (albeit a heavily barricaded one!). When a city is overrun with hordes of flesh-devouring zombies, a handful of survivors seek shelter at the local mall. While this provides for a good shelter initially, they soon realise that they need a more long-term solution. That solution: armour a couple of buses, head for the marina and take a boat to a deserted island. If only it were that easy!
Dawn of the Dead is far from original (what do you expect from a re-make of the greatest Zombie movie ever?!), but what it does, it does very well. It manages to explore the problems of a small group of very different people being isolated in a mall surrounded by zombies pretty well (and there's probably a lot more than you can think of!) as well as being bloody scary. It's gory, but infrequently, and the soft focussed camera takes a lot of the edge off the gore (as well as adds to the already tense atmosphere). Don't let that put you off though, this is a grade A zombie-fest!