A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire is a Disney TV movie family comedy, from 2000, with some elements of a horror movie, which are played for laughs. Caroline Rhea (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) plays Lynette Hansen, a divorced mother whose children inadvertently set her up on a date -- via email -- with the mysterious Dimitri Denatos (Charles Shaughnessy), who is later revealed to be a vampire. A gentle family comedy with fantasy elements, it features ominous musical cues to heavily signpost when danger is encroaching. After being revealed as a vampire, Dimitri's sinister side is shown -- he puts characters into trances and in one scene, almost bites someone's neck. But no characters come to any serious harm. There is no bad language or sexual content, and no consumerism. Alcohol is pictured but not drunk.
What's the story?
MOM'S GOT A DATE WITH A VAMPIRE finds Adam Hansen (Matt O'Leary) grounded, but desperate to attend a festival with his friends. In an effort to distract her, Adam, together with his sister Chelsea (Laura Vandervoort) set their mom up on a date with a mysterious stranger. But when younger brother, Taylor (Myles Jeffrey) discovers the man is a vampire, the siblings enlist the help of a local vampire hunter, Malachi Van Helsing (Robert Carradine).
Is it any good?
While just about watchable, this low-budget TV movie from 2000 is equally unremarkable. The dialogue features plenty of exposition that explains the rules of what vampires can and can't do. While this could be new to younger viewers, the story itself is incredibly slow and feels stretched despite its short, 85-minute runtime. Part of the reason Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire looks so dated is because it predates the vampire movie boom of the late 2000s and early 2010s, most notably the Twilight series. But it is worth considering that this is aimed very much at a younger and family audience.
The action takes place over a single night. Single mom Lynette (Caroline Rhea) is set up on a blind date by her children Adam and Chelsea, in part to help her get over her divorce, but also so the two of them can sneak out despite being grounded. It's a premise that sets off a chain of confusing and random events. The main story, of Adam and Chelsea following Lynette after discovering her date is a vampire, lacks any clear direction. The secondary plot, involving a vampire hunter and Lynette's youngest son, Taylor, fares slightly better and eventually joins the two together, providing the movie with its climax as the group work together to save Lynette. But this is a riff on the vampire genre that lacks any real bite.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the scarier moments in Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire. Which scenes did you find most frightening? Why do some people like being scared? Did you feel scared after the movie had finished? How much scary stuff can kids handle?
How is divorce portrayed in the movie? How does divorce affect both kids and parents? How is divorce typically depicted in the media?
Discuss the characters of Adam and Chelsea. How do their characters develop through the course of the movie? What character strengths do they show?
Although very dated, the movie touches upon the dangers of trusting people you meet online. What precautions should you take when talking to people online? What should you do if you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe?
Why do audiences have such a fascination with vampires?
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