Any show that the Sci Fi channel airs is always likely to arouse trepidation in the final product. Between lackluster genre fare, direct-to-video, fairly ridiculous-monster-duel-to-the-death flix, and various cheesy serials….say, the latest iteration of Stargate, Sci Fi as a network has consistently lowered the cultural and intellectual bar since it dialed back on classic genre staples and MST3K reruns. But a change may be afoot. We can’t say it’s gonna be the proverbial turning tide, but with the inclusion of VAN HELPING into it’s winter lineup, the station best known for making CGI beasts fight ad infinitum has got a winner.
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, VAN HELSING takes place three years after a Vamp-fueled holocaust has made humanity the minority in a big way. Think a certain AMC zombie show for structure. And like that show, small groups of humans survive and continually fight to hold onto the last vestiges of their race against a malevolent and in this case, lethally intelligent enemy. We focus early on, on one soldier who is guarding a comatose woman who was wanted prior to the fanged apocalypse by the military for reasons unknown. What seems to be just another cheap genre-flavored cash in quickly turns into a show of its own, moving at a much more exciting and steady clip than Walking Dead. You know what we mean. The prison, right? The fucking prison.
Van Helsing IS yet another show about a group of survivors trying to find their way out of a dire and seemingly hopeless situation i.e. Revolution, Lost, Lost in Space, Walking Dead, etc etc. But what it lacks in originality it makes up for in imminent watchability. Better than average acting, production value, writing, humor and an enjoyably bleak atmosphere add up to one of the best horror shows of 2016. Go find the first season now!!
KEEP IT CULT!