Underworld Awakening

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

Common Sense Media says

Selene returns for more dreary action and very gory thrills.
  • Review Date: January 20, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2012





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most of the characters don't seem to care about much. They save others and hurt others almost arbitrarily. The main character wants to save her daughter, sides with some characters, but kills others. Some characters argue for war and others for peace, and no one is shown to be right.

Positive role models

The main character is a strong female, but aside from her athleticism, strength, and skill in battle, she doesn't have many positive attributes. She leaves quite a trail of dead bodies and beasts, and she's fairly selfish.


Extremely strong fantasy violence, with several bloody battles and dead bodies. There's hand-to-hand fighting, shooting, stabbing, slicing, spurting blood, blood drinking, and bombs and explosions. A 12-year-old girl is shown slicing her wrists (she's a vampire/lycan, and the cuts heal instantly). There's disturbing talk of "cleansing," as the humans wipe out all vampires and lycans. The main character revives a fallen comrade by slicing open his stomach and reaching her hand in. Viewers see a protruding broken bone, an injection into an eyeball, and a throat ripped out.


The main character is presumably naked after escaping from a cryo-tube, but her body is completely obscured by steam, and nothing is shown. After that, she wears a skin-tight vinyl outfit throughout the film, and the camera often lingers on her body. A sexual relationship between the main character and a boyfriend is suggested, with a child as the result.


Language is very infrequent but does include three uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "hell." Additionally, one character shouts during a loud fight scene, and it's possible he could be using profanity, but his words are mostly drowned out.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Underworld Awakening is the fourth movie in the "vampires vs. lycans" (werewolves) series and the third to star Kate Beckinsale. It focuses more on fighting and violence than scares, but -- like the previous films -- it's accurately rated "R." There's lots of combat, including hand-to-hand fights, shooting, stabbing, slicing, bombs and explosions, and spurting blood. Throats are ripped out, and a young vampire/lycan girl is shown trying to slice her wrists (the cuts heal immediately). There's less sexuality here than in the last two movies; although one scene shows the main character naked, her body is totally obscured by steam. Language is very infrequent but includes at least three uses of "f--k" and one "s--t."

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After the events of Underworld (2003) and Underworld: Evolution (2006), humans discover the existence of vampires and lycans and begin "cleansing." Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is captured, and her lover Michael is presumably dead. When she wakes up, she's shocked to find out that it's 12 years later and that the few surviving vampires and lycans have gone underground. She's even more shocked to discover that she has a daughter, Eve (India Eisley), a natural-born vampire-lycan hybrid. Eve has now come of age, growing up in a lab without knowing her mother. Unfortunately, after she escapes, the girl's disappearance draws the unwanted attention of angry lycans. With the help of Detective Sebastian (Michael Ealy), Selene must figure out why.

Is it any good?


After the boring dud Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans (2009), the filmmakers were smart to distance themselves from it and to bring Beckinsale back -- though that was arguably the last smart move they made. UNDERWORLD AWAKENING is definitely gory, but someone forgot to also make it scary, exciting, sexy, and/or fun. The entire movie consists either of gory, bloody fight scenes or dialogue scenes in which people argue and try to further the movie's feeble plot.

Beckinsale still looks great in her black vinyl and leather suit, but her character has no depth; in one scene she says, "my heart isn't cold ... it's broken," but we can't tell the difference. Other characters, such as the human police detective, don't seem to belong at all. The film's visual effects are below average, which renders the digital lycans/werewolves completely ineffective. On the plus side, Swedish co-directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein have at least ordered up a nice-looking set.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Underworld Awakening's violence. Why do you think it's so graphic? Is that part of the appeal of a film like this? What would the movie be like if it toned down the blood and gore?

  • Can Selene be viewed as a positive role model? Is she strong? What is her character like? What are her goals?

  • What's the appeal of this vampires vs. werewolves series? How do they compare with other cinematic vampires or werewolves you've seen?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 20, 2012
DVD release date:May 7, 2012
Cast:Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealey, Stephen Rea
Directors:Bjorn Stein, Mans Marlind
Studio:Screen Gems
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence and gore, and for some language

This review of Underworld Awakening was written by

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  • 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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Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn January 20, 2012

Goriest film in the franchise is surprisingly a lot of fun

The fourth and latest film in the Underworld franchise, Underworld: Awakening, starts right about where Underworld: Evolution, left off. Now, going into this movie, I am a fan of this franchise, but, that doesn't mean that I didn't think that Underworld: Rise of the Lycans wasn't disappointingly badly made, lame and just a really poor entry into the franchise. But, some people will most certainly argue with me that this new film in the franchise is all of those things that I claimed the last film to be, but, in my defense, some things that make this film so much better than that one is that, well, first off: It's a hell of a lot of fun. That's right. For all it's dumbfounded scripting, line readings, and glossy visuals, this movies action sequences are just awesome. Sure, they are totally fake looking and are one-hundred-percent special effects at work, but, for once, and surprisingly with this movie (of all movies!), it actually keeps it's promise from the trailer: Too be fun, action packed and too deliver a comeback for Kate Beckinsale back into the role of Selene, one role that she hasn't inhabited since Underworld: Evolution in 2006. But, as much as I enjoyed the movie for what it was, the R Rating is extremely deserved, and here is why: Now, this may sound surprising, and man, I now that this is saying a whole lot, but, I think that this really could be the bloodiest, goriest and just absolutely most gruesome film in the Underworld franchise. Yes. I am totally serious. There are constant, non-stop sequences of strong brutal bloody violence and gore, with so many instances of decapitation, dismemberment, shooting, stabbing and body mutilation, it is almost impossible to keep track of it all. Also, there is some very brief nudity near the beginning of the film, but most of the important parts are covered up. And, finally, there is infrequent but moderate profanity, with at least 3 F-words, a few sh-t's and h-lls. So, with all these being said by me, I really do think that it is worth checking out, especially for a fan of the franchise. And, go see it in 3D. It was awesome!

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byRobbyboyfye16 January 24, 2012


sleuth returns for more intence fights and 1 positive message.

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old Written bylilmscharm11 January 24, 2012


it is very nasty freaky jk its cool movie

What other families should know
Too much sex


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