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Syfy’s Van Helsing Is So Nice, They Aired It Twice!

Missy Peregrym

This weekend marked the official premiere of Syfy’s Van Helsing starring Kelly Overton.  Back in July, the network aired a special commercial-free advanced showing of the pilot episode.  We here at Universal Monsters Universe loved the premiere so much, we watched it again!  If you watched it with us or read the review, you’ll know it’s focused for the most part on Axel Miller (Jonathan Scarfe) and his interactions with Vanessa Helsing (Kelly Overton), Ted (Tim Guinee) and those who have survived the apocalypse.

“Help Me” Aired 9/23/16 ***** stars

Written by Neil LaBute

Directed by Michael Nankin

*Spoilers contained within*

“Seen You” Aired 9/23/16 *****stars

Written by Neil LaBute

Directed by Michael Nankin

*Spoilers contained within*

The second episode of Van Helsing takes us back to the start of the vampire apocalypse and introduces us to Vanessa’s daughter Dylan (Hannah Cheramy) as well as the head vampire villains Dmitri (Paul Johansson) and Rebecca (Laura Mennell).  Vanessa and Dylan are living a normal life in Seattle when a volcano erupts in Yellowstone Park.  The park is destroyed and the ash spreads across the west coast, infecting those in its path.  This is when we meet Axel and Ted as Marines and Doc (Rukiya Bernard), who is Doctor Seward (it wouldn’t be Van Helsing if there wasn’t a Dracula reference now would it?).  Together, they must fight the apocalypse and protect Vanessa who isn’t “dying in the usual way.”   The show takes us three years ahead again where Axel and the others are camped out in the hospital with Vanessa before the events of the pilot episode.

There is so much to say about this show and it’s all good things.  The acting is exceptional.  The interaction between Jonathan Scarfe and Rukiyah Bernard as both human and vampire Doc was flawless.  They played off of each other so well and put so much emotion into their interactions.  Speaking of emotion, how many hearts sank when Dylan started crying over Vanessa’s bloody body?  I never knew tissues were required to watch a show about a vampire apocalypse.  Kelly Overton was great again, especially when she confronts her neighbor Susan’s (Hilary Jardine) abusive boyfriend.  I think even the vampires would have been appalled by him.  Michael Nankin, who directed both the pilot and second episode, pulled us every which way from sad to shocked to scared.  What I did notice is becoming a current trend is the military fighting monsters.  While it’s been around for the most part, it is in recent times this concept has really been put out there from 2008’s Cloverfield to 2011’s Battle Los Angeles to 2014’s Godzilla to 2017’s The Mummy.

The show is only two episodes in but it’s already a trip.  Everything about it is excellent.  There’s so much to grab your attention without turning into a gorefest or scaring you to the point that you have to shut it off.  While it fits into the undead apocalypse theme, Van Helsing makes sure it does not come off as a copy of the rest.  It has its own backstory of how it happened and gives us its own set of characters who are nothing like we’ve seen before in the genre.  I cannot wait for next week’s episode and the season going forward.  I give this show FIVE STARS!

Van Helsing airs Fridays at 10pm on Syfy.  Check your local listings.

(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)

About the author

Joe Grodensky

Joe is a man of paradox. Joe is mysterious yet an open book. Joe is outgoing yet introverted. Joe is part wolf and man. Joe's favorite monster movie? Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).

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