Dracula

Common Sense Media says

Blood, sex, and plot twists revamp a classic horror tale.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Dracula and Van Helsing -- once sworn enemies -- are working together for a common cause. That said, the common cause is killing people who once wronged them, and achieving their goal calls for large-scale treachery, blackmail, and deceit.

Positive role models

The main character, Dracula, is most certainly a villain, although his primary motivation is to get revenge on the people who killed his beloved wife. He's also partnering with Van Helsing, who in the original novel was a hero -- and his principal enemy.

Violence

Death, and blood, are integral to the plot, and when characters die, it's carnal and messy (slitting throats, devouring necks, etc.). There's physical combat, too, involving low-tech weapons like knives, crossbows, and stakes.

Sex

Although sexual acts are simulated and no sensitive parts are shown, some scenes are heavily suggestive with lots of skin that stops just short of nudity.

Language

Light use of gateway words like "hell" and "damn."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Mostly social drinking, although there are minor characters who use hallucinatory drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dracula takes heavy liberties with the plot and characters of the classic novel that inspired it, dialing up the violence and sexual content for modern audiences. That means you'll see plenty of bloody acts (like throat-slitting and flesh-eating), but cutaway shots keep most scenes from getting too gory. You'll also see characters engaged in sexual activity that, while simulated, is strongly suggestive. Characters drink socially, too, and some use hallucinatory drugs, although language is comparatively tame (such as "damn" and "hell").

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Centuries after his beloved wife was murdered at the hands of an exclusive secret organization, DRACULA (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) reappears in Victorian London to get revenge on those who've wronged him with assistance from an unlikely ally: Abraham Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann). All the while, the famed vampire courts a striking medical student (Jessica De Gouw) who looks strangely like the lover he lost.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It feels like vampires have been "the thing" since, well, forever ago. And that's partly why this lavishly styled revamp of Bram Stoker's time-honored tale feels so frustratingly late to the party, even in spite of major change-ups like the rebranding of Dracula and his adversary, Van Helsing, into Victorian-era partners in crime. So pardon the pun...but hasn't this vampire thing already been done to death?

Tired themes of the undead aside, there's still a lot this British-American drama does well (although the convoluted story line involving the count bringing electricity to the masses isn't one of them) -- from knockout sets and costumes to a credibly cast ensemble. Also, in spite of an American accent that sounds a bit like Christian Slater gone cowboy, Rhys Meyers delivers the goods when it comes to animal magnetism, reminiscent of his turn in The Tudors but dialed down for a network audience.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this version of Dracula compares to the classic Bram Stoker novel that inspired it, particularly when it comes to violence and sexual content. What types of changes were made to the plot and characters, and why? (More importantly, do they work?)

  • How does Dracula compare to other popular television series about vampires and creatures of the night? Does it try to do anything differently? How does it rank among the competition?

  • What's behind the media trend toward the supernatural? What is it about vampires, werewolves, witches, and the like that we find so fascinating?

This review of Dracula was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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; OK 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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Written byAnonymous November 1, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Between TV-14 & TV-MA and this show is Rated TV-14 with 2 WARNINGS! Sex & Violence. No Dialog Warning. No One 16 & Under Pease.

OK for Dracula Ep. 1 TV-14 V & Ep. 2 TV-14 SV Now for the Ratings Violence 8/10: There is Lots of Blood Shown & People Killing in this show. Some is not shown. Sex 7/10: Yes there is a Short sex scene in this show. The Female Nudity was almost shown. The Man does touches them as will. Language 5/10: He**, & D*mn. Drinking, Drugs, & Smoking 7/10: Drinking by People who are 21+. People Smoking Illegal Drugs. Overall 27/40: Not for anyone 16 & Under. Nothing Positive thru a TV-14 Level. However NBC's Trick is that they want you to see sex on this show. But FCC says they can't put that Nudity. So it cuts to the Consumerism outside of the program. That's all for me.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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