Alan Silvestri month Composer of the month

Soundtrack review: van Helsing (Alan Silvestri – 2004)

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Before I started Alan Silvestri month, it was my favorite score from him and things might not change once I am done with this Silvestri marathon.

“Van Helsing”…the 2004 movie starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale was a fun one to watch, a horror story full of our favorite characters, from Dracula to Frankenstein.

Alan Silvestri’s score is brutally loud, and I love it! It has a pounding, relentless rhythm and it doesn’t give you one second to breathe. “Transylvania 1887” hits us with powerful brass and surrounds us with a violent choir, and from then on the insane rhythm just takes me away and I can only grab something in the fourth cue, “Journey to Transylvania” (welcome to our country. We’re not all werewolves and vampires here, just so you know). I grab the string of the guitar that marks Van Helsing’s theme, a much unexpected instrument to find in the middle of this score. And we’re off again on the wings of some of the loudest cues Silvestri has ever written. I am extremely excited by this score, it’s wicked, it’s bold, it’s aggressive and it’s so much fun!

Just listen to “Attacking brides”.  I remember the crazy scene, and the music is even crazier. I want to write as fast as the music goes but I’m afraid my keyboard will start to burn. “Van Helsing” just rides and rides and “Dracula’s nursery” provides a welcomed, but scary break. Oh wait, we woke it up again. Here comes the loudness!

“Final battle” is my favorite cue from the score. It’s the longest, and it’s got everything: heavy brass, heavy choirs and that insane rhythm. It’s the rightful climax of “Van Helsing” and the stamp of this composition. And you can catch your breath at the last cue, “Reunited”, a romantic track by this score’s standards. It is a beautiful ending.

The score passes like a breeze and you won’t know what hit you. It leaves you disoriented, looking to straighten up your clothes and arrange your hair before looking around in disbelief. What was that…? Well, that was “Van Helsing”, the kind of score that can make your ears bleed. It’s a magnificent, fun and bold composition that you will not forget. Before I started Alan Silvestri month, it was my favorite score from him and things might not change once I am done with this Silvestri marathon.

Cue rating: 90 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 33 /43

Album excellence: 77%

 

Highlights:

Transylvania 1887

Burn It Down!

Werewolf Trap

Journey to Transylvania

Attacking Brides

Useless Crucifix

All Hallow’s Eve Ball

Who Are They to Judge?

Final Battle

Reunited

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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