Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

  • Review Date: June 20, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2012

Common Sense Media says

Ridiculous, bloody blending of history and violence.
  • Review Date: June 20, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2012

Age(i)

2
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5
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9
10
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Amid all the killing and blood, there's a small message about learning to trust others, as well as challenging issues of race during the slavery days.

Positive role models

Obviously, the real Abraham Lincoln is a powerful role model, but the movie's version of Abe is a little different than the legend. Many of his good qualities are still there -- including his achievements as president, his desire to free the slaves, and his ability to see all people as equals ... except for vampires, whom he learns to dispatch with bloody violence. His motivation is revenge, and this vocation requires him to lie to his wife (so much for "honest Abe").

Violence

Very strong fantasy/vampire violence, with fighting, shooting, slashing, stabbing, and lots of blood. A boy watches his mother die of a terrible vampire disease; years later, Abe and Mary Todd watch their son die of the same thing (viewers see bloody scabs on his arm). People instantaneously turn into vampires, growing several sharp teeth and lunging at the screen; it's a scary shock. A character is shot through the eye, and the camera follows the bullet. Vampires are beheaded. A vampire throws a live horse at Abe, and it crashes into him in a painful way. Vampires kill a woman in front of her boyfriend.

Sex

A dead, topless girl is shown for a few seconds. A couple is interrupted while having sex in a tub. In one sequence, a customer tries to force himself upon a prostitute. Her top is a little loose as she safely runs away, but nothing sensitive is shown. Some kissing, with some sexual suggestion.

Language

"F--k" is used once. Also "son of a bitch," "prick," "balls," "hell," "goddamn," and "whore."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Young Abe drinks heavily at a bar in one scene. (A character says: "A man only drinks that much when he wants to kiss a girl or kill a man. Which is it?") Another major character drinks whiskey in his home and also takes a puff from a hookah pipe, which appears to be empty.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is based on a history-twisting novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. Though it plays fast and loose with facts and has a silly premise, the movie has little humor: It's pure action/horror, with lots of revenge, blood, and fighting -- all in 3-D. A boy watches his mother die, a child dies, and women are killed. Vampires are shot through the eye and beheaded. There's a little sex (including one dead, topless girl on display) and some language, including one "f--k" and a couple uses of "son of a bitch." Young Abe is seen drinking heavily while pondering ways to avenge his mother, and another character drinks and takes a puff from a hookah pipe, which appears to be empty.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

As a boy, Abraham Lincoln helplessly witnesses his mother's death at the hands of a vampire. When he becomes a man (Benjamin Walker), Abe contemplates his revenge. Then stranger Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) offers to teach him how to fight and kill the evil creatures. In Springfield, Abe does his hunting at night, in between studying the law, working at a general store, and courting Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). He becomes interested in politics, which leads to his being elected president years later. But when vampires from the South begin to turn the Civil War into a bloody massacre, Abe must take up his old hunting ways once again.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch, Wanted) usually makes hyperkinetic movies that have a few explosive scenes but are ultimately empty. ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is doubly so, since it also squanders a great hero and a potentially pleasingly silly idea. The movie takes the idea of Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires seriously and also doesn't seem to wonder about ridiculous concepts such as Southern vampires supporting slavery.

After simply ignoring everything potentially funny and lively, Abraham Lincoln grinds down on its characters, turning them into empty vessels upon which to hang the action sequences. One shot of bearded, stovepipe-hatted Lincoln marching toward the camera in slow motion like a grindhouse hero shows just what Bekmambetov thinks of him. Sure, some of the sequences are big and impressive, but without any emotional involvement, they're as dead as a coffin nail.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter's violence. Is it scary? Does it create tension? How necessary is it to the story?

  • What historical liberties does the movie take? How creative do you think the storytellers were in taking real events and fitting them to the story? Which scenes were based on real events?

  • Is the movie's Lincoln a positive role model? What worthwhile qualities does he have? What less admirable qualities does the movie give him?

  • Is the movie silly or serious, or both? If you've read the book, how does the movie compare?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 22, 2012
DVD release date:October 23, 2012
Cast:Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Director:Timur Bekmambetov
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Horror
Topics:Book characters, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence throughout and brief sexuality

This review of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byBetsey J. June 21, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Violence

It was way too violent. I went to see it with a few friends. We walked out 15 minutes into the movie. The raters got a little sloppy it should have definitely been rated R. In one scene there are dead bodies hanging from the celling, bloody with their eyes poked out. I am encouraging you not to see it. It seemed like a movie good for men the ages of 17-45. Hope this helps

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bytoxicmotherbomber June 22, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

good for 12 and older.

some swearing not that bad same with sexual content . and oveously violence only one really gory scene where a guy gets shot in the eye with a bullet. not even scary i thinks for parents its okay your son or daughter if they're 12 or older.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byStevie111 June 22, 2012
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Good Vampire Movie has a decent amount of violence

I thought there would be more violence and gore, although there was a lot of it. Very brief sexuality and nudity, Barely anything. Fine for older teens.

What other families should know
Too much violence

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