Van Helsing, the brand new horror/thriller set to premiere on Syfy on Friday at 10 pm Eastern time, delivers on every angle it promises. The premise is deceptively simple; vampires have risen, taken over earth, and only one person can stop them: Vanessa, a young mother, descended from the famous vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing. Only it’s not quite as simple as that. Without giving too much away, the first episode opens three years after a natural disaster brings about the rise of the “feeders” as they are called. We see a young woman (Kelly Overton) asleep on a hospital table. We meet a soldier (Jonathan Scarfe), committed to guarding her. When a group of the soldier’s squad returns after a six-month absence, it sets off a sequence of events that awaken the young woman to her destiny.
The second episode, airing right after the premiere at 11 pm Eastern time, flashes back to three years prior, right before the apocalypse takes place. It provides insight and background on both Vanessa and Axel, the soldier, and we also get a glimpse into the vampire world. That is all I will say about the plot – this is something viewers need to see for themselves.
At first, I picked up a slight “Walking Dead” vibe, with vampires instead of zombies, but all of the twists and turns take Van Helsing in an entirely different direction. It is heavy on violence and gore, but no more so than would be expected from the genre. The actors give terrific performances, and Vanessa is poised to become a powerful female lead.
Van Helsing scored a definite “wow!” from me, and I am a dyed in the wool horror fan. Don’t miss the series premiere this Friday on Syfy, 10 pm Eastern time.