Little Vampire, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

Based on a popular series of children's novels, this film takes elements of the Dracula legends and combines them with a young boy's desire for friends in a foreign place. While his father oversees the construction of a golf course on a Scottish estate, nine-year-old Tony Thompson (Jonathan Lipnicki) and his family live in one of the estate houses. Tony has nightmares about vampires and vampire hunters. But his obsession with vampires only causes him trouble in school and trouble making friends with Scottish neighbors. However, things get more interesting when Rudolph (Rollo Weeks), a real vampire his own age, flies into Tony's room one night. Tony learns of Rudolph's family and their desire to become human through a special amulet and a soon-to-appear comet. Because his nightmares and visions relate to the amulet, Tony decides to help his new friend find the jewel. But a 20th century vampire hunter is also on the amulet's trail, to do away with vampires forever. It's a race to the finish in this action-comedy aimed at the pre-teen crowd.

Despite the occasional point of humor and adolescent stars, the film never seems sure of how to treat it's material. While some scenes play like episodes of "The Munsters" TV show, scarier scenes such as the opening nightmare and a chase through cemetery catacombs, reflect more traditional horror films. Other questionable scenes involve caskets with heart-staked corpses and mobs attacking a vampire couple. Rudolph does try to convince Tony that, despite the supernatural powers, a vampire's life is not desirable. And like some popular TV shows, the film creates sympathy for "good' vampires. Tony gets into a rough tussle at school, ending with a bloodied nose, but the greater violence is done by the vampire hunter as he tries to rid the land of the cursed undead. His downfall, however, involves a comic scene of flying vampire cows and a fertilizer splashed windshield. Although marketed for young audiences, THE LITTLE VAMPIRE creates its own nightmares.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Flr., New York, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (3) times - Exclamatory (OMG 2, Sweet Mother in Heaven)

Violence: Several times - Mild and moderate (men struggle, fall into sea, boy nearly hit by truck, boys shove/ wrestle, bloody nose, gun threat, bite marks on neck, body begins to smoke, man breaks door, bodies with stakes in chest, boy grabbed, man punched, truck falls into ocean)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (wife suggests afternoon alone to husband)

Drugs: Alcohol drinking few times, cigar smoking

Other: Vampire wants to be human, vampires show fear of cross, bitten cows become vampire-like, cow dung splatters windshield, boy faces danger to help friend

Running Time: 94 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 8 and up

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