Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Dracula Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Classic vampire movie is more creepy than violent.
  • NR
  • 1931
  • 75 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 13 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The main message is "beware of vampires." But while some would succumb to Dracula's charms, others, like Van Helsing, continually look for ways to solve the problem of exposing and defeating the monster.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The chilly Van Helsing is probably the movie's best role model, an analytical fellow who does not appear to get rattled in the face of horror. He takes responsibility, looking for ways to outsmart and defeat the vampire and restore things to normal.


Blood is shown in one scene, when Renfield cuts his finger in Dracula's castle. Blood is mentioned and discussed many other times, and there are small puncture wounds in the necks of Dracula's victims. There is persistent talk of death, and some threats. Much of the violence is only suggested, but some of it is still chilling, such as spiders and bats; the shadow of a dead sea captain, tied to the helm; a mad, giggling Renfield slowly approaching the camera. Dracula is destroyed (offscreen) with a stake to the chest.


Dracula is shown to have three wives, though they are not seen again after he arrives in London. There's some very subtle, almost imperceptable innuendo as Dracula seduces Mina away from John Harker.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Renfield enjoys a glass of wine in Dracula's castle. (Dracula does not partake, since he never drinks...wine.)

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this classic black and white Dracula contains some mild, but frank talk about death and blood, and some blood is shown. There are some subtle, but still creepy images, though most of the horror is suggested or offscreen. Sexuality has always been part of the Dracula legend, and some almost imperceptible innuendo is present in this movie. Some young viewers may find the movie a bit stiff, but as one of the most iconic movies of all time, they'll likely appreciate it's chilling imagery, if nothing else.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byJulie K. March 15, 2021

Horror movie

Violence 2/5
Sex 1/5
Language 0/5
Drugs alcohol and smoking 2/5
Adult Written byFaith L. November 4, 2020


Are daughter is 9 so we thought we could handle it but it is WAY too scary I think the age on it should be more like 18 don't try it unless you want nightm... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 27, 2020

Classic horror film is creepy and a bit boring

Parents need to know that this movie is very creepy. Some rats and spiders. Many characters turn into vampires.
Teen, 17 years old Written byHorror Movie Re... October 4, 2018

Clever and Classic Tale

Dracula is one of those movies that everyone knows, even if they haven't seen it. Having watched it I can say that it truely earns its iconic status. Dracu... Continue reading

What's the story?

Solicitor Renfield (Dwight Frye) arrives in Transylvania, and despite grim warnings from the locals, arrives at DRACULA's castle so that the Count (Bela Lugosi) can sign the papers on his new abbey in London. Later, Renfield has become Dracula's insane servant, and the count insinuates himself into London society, befriending Jonathan Harker (David Manners), his pretty financee Mina (Helen Chandler), and their friend Lucy (Frances Dade). After Lucy meets a strange fate, the suspicious Professor Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) begins to investigate; he wants to prove that Dracula is indeed a vampire. But even if he can do this, can he stop the horrible creature?

Is it any good?

Dracula seems a bit stiff and stagy, and indeed it was adapted from the successful stage play of the time, rather than directly from Bram Stoker's famous book. Often, actions are described rather than shown. Moreover, director Tod Browning was forced to cast the star of the play, Bela Lugosi, rather than his first choice, actor Lon Chaney (who had recently died). Now, however, it's difficult to picture any other actor in the role, and almost all of today's vampire lore can be traced back to Lugosi.

Browning was more familiar with and adept at macabre material than any other director, and he instills the movie with a creepy, sinister mood that's hard to shake. Part of this is thanks to the master cinematographer Karl Freund (who would go on to direct the equally creepy The Mummy the following year), and part of it is thanks to some purely unsettling imagery. Perhaps best of all is the dialogue, which yielded many memorable lines. All in all, it's a chilling classic.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Which scenes were the scariest, or most vivid? What was shown and what was kept offscreen? Is the scariest stuff always the most explicit?

  • What kind of character is Dracula? He's not the hero -- so what role does he play? What makes him so timelessly appealing?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to be scared

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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