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Dracula Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Classic vampire movie is more creepy than violent.

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.

  • 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?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    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.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: 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.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: 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.

  • sex false1

    Sex: 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.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Renfield enjoys a glass of wine in Dracula's castle. (Dracula does not partake, since he never