Underworld Awakening

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Underworld Awakening Movie Poster Image
Selene returns for more dreary action and very gory thrills.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 18 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChloe Lynn Cui ... June 25, 2019

Ages 17+

Not recommended for people under the age of 17
Adult Written byjoshua martinez May 12, 2012

17 and up.

this third movie underworld awakening is a great horror movie filled with lots of action stars with Kate Beckinsale and this horror movie is only for your older... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byChloe's donuts April 30, 2017

Iffy for 16+

This movie is really good like the first one
Teen, 15 years old Written byChloe Treska's candy April 18, 2017

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" in UNDERWORLD AWAKENING. 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?

This follow-up to the first few Underworld movies is definitely gory, but someone forgot to also make it scary, exciting, sexy, and/or fun. 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. 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 visual effects in Underworld Awakening 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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love vampires

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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