series is a set of horror-action movies revolving around the conflicts of Werewolves and Vampires
, complete with an Ancient Conspiracy
, an intricate Backstory
, plenty of Dark World
imagery, great British actors chewing all the scenery in sight
and lots of gratuitous gory action.
The main plot revolves around the struggle between the Lycans, a former slave race to the vampires, rebelling and the latter vowing to exterminate them. All because Lucian, a Lycan, and vampire lord Viktor's daughter fell in love and conceived a child. Viktor ordered her killed to ensure the "Abomination"
would not come to term. Lucian escaped and the rest, as they say, is history.
In the modern day, Lycans have been "hunted to near extinction", or so the Vampire nobles think, but in reality they are gathering in numbers and planning on wiping out the vampire leadership with a plot to create their own hybrid on the eve of the vampire elders switching power. This is where Michael comes in. He is, among the descendants of the Corvinus clan, the only one with the genetic makeup capable of letting him be turned into a vampire and
a werewolf. Normal humans can only be turned into one or the other; trying to "mix" causes death. Selene, a vampire Death Dealer with a personal vendetta against all werewolves, notices the Lycan's botched kidnapping of Michael, and helps him escape capture. Along the way, they begin to fall in love, an issue that gets all the more complicated when he gets bitten and starts turning into a werewolf. Can their love survive their species' natural hatred?
The series consists of four movies at the moment:
- Underworld (2003) introduces the basic setting, as well as the main characters: Selene and Michael, who are caught in the conflict between Viktor's vampire court and the rebellious Lycans led by Lucian.
- Underworld: Evolution (2006) picks up immediately where the first movie ended, with Selene and Michael on the run from Marcus, the father of all vampires. Luckily, they are helped by Marcus' immortal father, who is just as interested in stopping him as they are.
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009) depicts the origin of the Lycan rebellion against their Vampire masters, sparked by the Starcrossed Lovers Lucian and Sonja, Viktor's vampire daughter. As may be expected from a prequel, especially by viewers of the first film, it has a Downer Ending.
- Underworld: Awakening (2012) is set approximately 12 years after Evolution and revolves around Selene, fresh out of torpor, trying to find her and Michael's daughter in the midst of the extermination of both Vampires and Lycans at the hands of humanity.
Judging by the Sequel Hook
at the end of Awakening
, more installments are at least planned.
Not to be confused with Underworld (1927)
, The Underworld
, that underworld
, Ultima Underworld
, the band Underworld
, this one
or a Metro Specific Underworld
, which it may loosely reference.
The Underworld series contains examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: Silver bullets are to be expected, but special liquid silver nitrate bullets are used to prevent the projectiles from being easily removed. The Lycans, for their part, have developed UV rounds for use against the vamps. In fact, the UV rounds came first.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Victor's sword, which Selene uses against him.
- Anachronism Stew:
- Rise of the Lycans, in which the vampire nobles (the women, at least) seem to be wearing modern evening wear, some even featuring bare midriffs. The date and setting of the film is inexact, but it is clearly supposed to be a medieval setting (the early 13th century according to the novelizations). This is even more jarring when the vampires are shown alongside their human serfs...who wear attire that's actually fitting for the era.
- The animated shorts have Selene using semi-automatic handguns...in 1890.
- Anatomically Impossible Sex: Selene and Michael's infamously awkward sex scene in Underworld: Evolution. The way their bodies are positioned, Michael is basically making love to Selene's stomach, though they were sensible enough to photoshop out his penis. This scene is particularly awkward when you realize that Kate Beckinsale is married to the director, who obviously would have been watching the whole time. To quote Mrs. Beckinsale during an interview about this very scene: "...if they move, then it’s terribly embarrassing, but if it doesn’t move it’s terribly insulting and you think they’re gay. So he lashed it to his leg, tied it in three knots and... I think was in physical torment as well as everything else"
- Ancient Conspiracy: Both the masquerade setting itself, and within the vampire clan under the noses of its members.
- Anti-Climax: In the first movie:
- A Lycan starts to transform and it looks like it's going to have a knock-down drag-out fight with a vampire. The vampire is quickly knocked down and torn to pieces.
- Raze and Viktor are about to get in a big fight. The strongest vampire and the strongest lycan, Except that when Raze jumps at Viktor, Viktor catches him in midair and breaks his neck.
- Anti-Villain: By the end of the first movie, Lucian is a villain only by virtue of being on the opposite side. Unless you're one of the hapless Corvinus descendants he's managed to track down and capture...
- Awesome but Impractical:
- Selene's automatic pistols. Apart from the required Bottomless Magazines, pistols are too underpowered to reliably stop mere people, inherently inaccurate even when shot one at a time and in Selene's case, don't even produce particularly good results with the in-universe issue of Lycans extracting or pushing out silver bullets. Notable despite Rule of Cool because EVERYONE else uses at least a heavy magnum pistol or submachine gun.
- The silver whips used in both the first and fourth movie. Stupid out-of-movie and even a failure in-movie, yet characters keep using the things.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: If the vampires had only treated the Lycans with a little more respect....
- Creator Cameo: Raze is played by Kevin Grevioux, who was one of the co-creators of the story.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: The vampires and the lycans. The vampires at least only get them when they shift into their "game-face" though.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Selene versus the two female vamp mooks in the second film. Let's see, you have a Death Dealer with 600 years' worth of experience in killing huge lupine beasts. In the other corner, you have two recently-turned vamps with no combat experience whatsoever whose only purpose appears to be entertainment for their maker. As established in the first and second films, as immortals age, they get stronger.
- Did Not Die That Way: Selene believed that a pack of Lycans was responsible for killing her family. Near the end of the first film, it's revealed that the true culprit was Viktor.
- The Dog Bites Back: Literally when Lucian leads the Lycan rebellion. Lucian himself runs afoul of it when Kraven kills him.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: A silver mine owner in Rise of the Lycans refuses to pay tribute to Viktor in exchange for clearing his silver mine, as Viktor's forces can barely protect their own lands. Viktor of course kills him for the insult.
- Dual Wielding: In the first film, one of the vampire lieutenants decides the best way to fight a hulking werewolf in an environment with many projections and obstructions is to uncoil a pair of silver razored whips. It doesn't work out when one of his whips gets wrapped around one of the projecting pieces of structure.. Viktor also whips out a pair of large knives from his sleeves during his battle with Selene. In Awakening, David has a go-at-it, using Soren's silver razor whip and a throwing blade. Surprisingly, He does pretty well with it, until he gets tackled by a Lycan. And of course, Selene and her two pistols.
- Every Helicopter Is A Huey: Very nearly averted in Evolution - the helicopter shown in long-shots is a modified SA 360 Dauphin that just happens to sound like a Huey. Unfortunately, sometime between the helicopter landing and The Squad piling out the back, it's turned into a Huey anyway. In an apparent compromise, the prop used after it inevitably crashes and turns into a Helicopter Blender looks like some unholy fusion between the two.
- Evil Brit: Seemingly played straight with Lucian in the first film. But then subverted when it turns out he isn't the villain, or at all evil.
- Exposition of Immortality:
- Underworld mostly employs a combination of dialogue and flashbacks for this. Selene states that she's been a vampire for six hundred years and that Viktor was her maker. Flashbacks in the first and second films show the date for the Lycan-Vampire conflict, establishing Kraven as at least as old as Selene.
- The werewolf doctor in Underworld has a family tree showing the dates for the Corvinus family dating back to the 5th century AD with Marcus Corvinus.
- And then there's Alexander, who reveals himself to have been the father of the original Marcus Corvinus; still alive after approximately 2600 years.
- Expy: Thomas in Awakening is basically a more cowardly, not-as-evil version of Viktor. Charles Dance clearly took lessons in being Bill Nighy for the part — just listen to his first line-uh.
- Faux Action Girl: Sonja in Rise of the Lycans. Despite being the leader of the Death Dealers, Sonja needs almost constant rescuing.
- Fanservice: Selene's entire wardrobe composes of leather catsuits. The men are lucky—or villains—if they get more than pants. Michael almost always fights shirtless, while in the third film, Lucian shows off just about everything.
- Fantastic Racism: In Underworld and Underworld Preque Rise of the Lycans, the two races of immortals, vampire and werewolf spend entire centuries killing each other over a grudge. The vampires are more typically racist, calling the Lycans (werewolves) animals and vermin and generally hunting them to the brink of extinction. In the feudal era, the vampires kept the Lycans as slaves and pets to guard them during daylight hours. The lead vampire killed his own daughter because she fell in love with a werewolf and carried his child.
- Follow the Leader: The setting was similar enough to White Wolf's Old World of Darkness tabletop RPG that there was a legal fracas over it around the time of the first film's release. Otherwise, the film is generally thought of as The Matrix with vampires and werewolves.
- Foregone Conclusion: If you watched the movies in production order, there's no way you didn't know how Rise of the Lycans was going to end. Watching them in chronological order, however, takes away the first movie's twist that Kraven didn't kill Lucian as Selene claimed in her Opening Narration, and that in point of fact Lucian isn't actually the villain. Either way, you will be spoiled—though the chronological order can still work okay if you like internal reveals.
- Genetic Memory: Carried in the blood of both werewolves and vampires are the "parent's" memories, which can be accessed by drinking.
- The Ghost: Marcus in the first movie. He's only mentioned as one of the three vampire elders, who was supposed to take power before Selene awakened Viktor instead. We don't actually see him until Evolution, where we learn how important he really is to the series' backstory.
- Gorn: There's a scene in Evolution where an exiled vamp is having a threesome. One of his partners bites him. Bleeding just made it hotter.
- Guns Akimbo: Selene wields almost all her guns, in all three of the films she appears in, in pairs.
- Healing Factor: Both vampires and lycans (except against silver in the latter's case).
- Best illustrated in the second film, when Selene suffers severe burns from short-term exposure to the sun, which are gone minutes later. Both Lycans and Vampires are capable of accelerating their rate of recovery by consuming blood. Markus was able to replenish the amount of blood He had used up to accelerate his recovery, by devouring an entire stable full of horses, and Selene was able to heal her head wound and force out a silver bullet, by drinking the blood of an Antigen delivery guard.
- In Awakening, the uber-Lycan's super-healing factor is abused by Selene, who rips a hole in his stomach and leaves an armed silver nitrate grenade inside it, knowing that the wound will heal before he realizes what she did and the grenade will go off before he is able to claw it out of himself again.
- Invincible Hero: Whether you agree that Selene is the 'hero' in the early parts of the series once you find out she's been doing everything based on disinformation Viktor gave her, she fits the 'invincible character' trope very well, as she rarely takes damage of any kind compared to other characters in the franchise, including Michael, who became superfluous as a character seemingly the very minute after Selene kills Viktor. To the point that he doesn't even appear in the fourth film except in flashback being apparently killed, and then found to be frozen in ice. Selene is pretty much unstoppable to begin with, but then she got upgraded to the point that the concern over a Hybrid might as well have been equivalent to being scared of the boogeyman being in your closet when there's an actual armed serial killer loose in your neighborhood.
- Ironic Echo: "It's easier if you don't fight it. Trust me." Spoken first by Jacob Lane to Subject 2 in Awakening as he is preparing to vivisect her. Repeated in the opposite direction between the same two characters during the final battle as Lane is dying from the fatal wounds inflicted by Subject 2.
- Just a Stupid Accent: In the first film, Viktor's accent is somewhere between Colonel Kurtz and Colonel Sanders. By Rise of the Lycans, it's a pretty standard English sneer.
- Large Ham: Lots of them, but Viktor takes the cake. Or at least shares it with Kraven. He has his moments in the first, for example coming out of nowhere nasally saying, "What's... this... ruckus?". But in the third, he definitely goes for it. "I whanted to believe your liessss. I KNEW it couldn't be truenotmyowndaughter, how could youuu?"
- Low Fantasy: Rise of the Lycans, with some overlap with Dark Fantasy as well.
- Luckily My Powers Will Protect Me: When Selene is fighting the Giant Mook lycan at the end of Awakening, she punches a hole through him and leaves a grenade inside and he announces, as he heals instantly, "I heal instantly!"
- Love Across Battlelines: Sonja and Lucian in Rise of the Lycans. The never-ending feud between vampires and werewolves becomes a full-out war because of Viktor's refusal to accept their relationship.
- Mad Scientist: The lycans have their own mad scientist, complete with German accent, in the first film. Dr. Jacob Lane in Awakening also fits the part.
- Made of Iron: Even with their Healing Factors, Vampires and Lycans have an innate increased durability towards trauma. This is doubly so for the Elders, Hybrids and Selene. Using their Super Strength, Lycans like Raze can barrel through thick concrete walls without being fazed by doing so, Death Dealers and Lycans alike can both perform incredible drops and leaps without issue, and Selene herself ignores getting shot multiple times in the back (after drinking Alexander's blood) and multiple impacts that would have killed lesser Vampires. She uses this in conjunction with her Super Strength to tackle a moving van with enough force to flip it. Of course, despite their Made of Iron capabilities and their Healing Factor, they can still die from dismemberment and other forms of massive physical traumas, such as:
- Having their necks cut open, as seen with Sonja fighting against Viktor's elite Death Dealers(not even full on decapitation) and Selene killing Antigen guards with a scalpel.(of course, at that point, any cuts she deals would be equal to being cut open by a full-length sword). Viktor being an Elder, survived having a full-length sword stabbed into his mouth and out the back of his head. He survived an injury that more than likely damaged the top of his spinal column. That's not something you easily walk away from)
- Being impaled by ballista bolts(Its highly doubtful that the Lycans who were hit by those during their escape of Castle Corvinus survived)
- Being hit with explosive force(yes, Trix and Taylor were killed by a silver grenade, but even taking that into consideration, their bodies and everyone else in the ladder chute were gibbed beyond recognition. That grenade was not only loaded with silver, but had more than enough explosives packed into it to render 4 maybe 6 full-grown men into messy chunks)
- Malevolent Masked Men: The Death Dealers in all incarnations whether its full-face medieval helmets or gas masks. The Cleaners employed by Alexander Corvinus, also wear gas masks whenever they're conducting their Ops, for obvious reasons to avoid contamination and other hazards.
- The Masquerade: It's revealed in the second film that Sir Derek Jacobi and his merry men have been following the vampires around and cleaning up their mess. They even mention bribing witnesses to keep their mouths shut. The fact that Markus kills all of them is probably what led to the Broken Masquerade.
- Meaningful Name:
- Viktor is surprised when putting someone named Kraven in charge of his household doesn't turn out so well.
- Selene, which means "moon".
- Viktor likes to win, obviously.
- Messianic Archetype: Selene is a rather twisted example, as she is viewed as a traitor by fellow vampires after the first movie. Come Awakening, however, she comes back from being effectively dead, walks in the sunlight, rallies the younger vampires, and goes around resurrecting their dead.
- Monogender Monsters: Going by the movies, there was exactly one female Lycan, Lucian's mother, who was infected while pregnant. Though presumably the virus is just as contagious to both genders, the use of this trope was justified as the vampires wanting only male lycan slaves. There's a few distinct mentions of female Lycans within the novels of the movies.
- Monster Progenitor: William Corvinus is the Progenitor of all Lycans. Markus Corvinus, his brother, is the progenitor of all Vampires. Unlike other Lycans, William cannot change back to a human. Markus, unlike other vampires, is capable of changing form to that of a vampire with bat wings, giving him flight; but only after he becomes a hybrid. The strain of Lycans that retain their sentience and are capable of shifting at will appear to all be 'descended' from Lucian.
- Mortal Wound Reveal: Selene's killing blow on Viktor. He actually moves from crouching to standing position and draws sleeve daggers at first - then Selene holds up his sword, covered in his own blood. It only takes a couple more seconds for half his head to fall off.
- Mundane Utility: In Awakening, Selene uses her boot knife to as an impromptu key to start and drive a van, and Quint used the powers of Partial Transformation, to transform right hand into a massive set of claws to slice the cables inside of the elevator shaft where Selene and a random Lycan had fallen. Michael uses the same method in Underworld Evolution, to open paint cans to cover up the windows inside of the garage He and Selene took refugee inside of during the day, and even switched over his eyes to see in the dark and brought out of his fangs and claws reflexively. Markus used his wings to impale and pin people without having to do much of anything else.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lucian and Kraven were planning to broker a peace treaty between the vampires and lycans before Selene interfered. Markus also wouldn't have become a hybrid, and humanity wouldn't have found out about the existence of immortals.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Hybrids are TOUGH.
- Markus, original vampire, has a magazine emptied into his face (courtesy of Selene) and then crushed between a truck and a cliff-side. He shrugs it off. Selene is only able to kill him after impaling him through the head, with his own razor wing, and throwing him into helicopter blades. Word of God is that while the Helicopter Blender killed him, he would have recovered from the impaled head. Michael is impaled on a pipe, which does seem to kill; only for him to be Only Mostly Dead.
- Selene, a vampire immortal hybrid, might actually be indestructible.She survived falling through an elevator shaft while the Lycan who tackled her wasn't so fortunate, and she also survived having a grenade go off near her. She also managed to tackle a van with enough force to flip it a couple of times without any long term damage.
- Not to mention Eve, the daughter of Selene and Michael, whom Selene flat-out states will grow to become even more powerful than she is.
- No Ontological Inertia: As the first vampire, Markus managed to convince the other vampires that killing him would destroy all of them, and killing his brother William (the first lycan) would destroy all lycans—thus depriving them of their slaves. When Selene hears about this a thousand years or so later, she immediately sees it for the lie it is, but the one telling it to her notes that Victor believed it enough to not risk it. By the time killing William would have been a viable way to take care of the lycans, Victor no longer had the key to his prison, so he had no way of testing the theory.
- Not So Different: Alexander Corvinus gives both this and a "Reason You Suck" Speech to Selene when she asks him for help killing Markus. For her response, see Calling the Old Man Out.
Selene: (on whether or not Corvinus could have stopped the war) Yes!
Alexander Corvinus: Could you kill your own sons?
Selene: You know what Marcus will do! If he finds me, he finds William's prison! You have to help us stop him!
Alexander Corvinus: You are asking me to help you kill my son - YOU, a Death Dealer? How many innocents have YOU slain in your six-century quest to avenge your family? Spare me your self-righteous declarations! You are no different from Marcus and even less noble than William - at least HE cannot control his savagery!
- The Older Immortal: Alexander Corvinus, the original immortal, who even looks older than the rest
- Our Vampires Are Different: The vampires are stereotypically pale, blood-drinking, almost completely immortal, highly athletic, and their assassins/soldiers use plenty of Gun Fu, but the entire condition is supposedly just the result of a mutant virus. They're also not undead, and do not require special things to kill them. For example, sunlight will cause them to burst into flame. However, a stake through the heart is unnecessary; sufficient bullet wounds and similar gore will kill them. They do breathe, but it looks like they've got a substantially increased lung capacity, since Selene was able to hold her breath underwater during their infiltration of William's prison. She was also resuscitated by Michael, during the first movie, and she was shown out of breath. Vampires are also able to reproduce. Similar to Blade, those born of vampire parents are called "purebloods".
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Caused by the brother strain of the virus, these Weres are large, vaguely humanoid, also immortal, and most can shift at will. Also there are three different "species" of Werewolf in this series. First there's William; the first one to ever exist, who looks the most Wolf-like. Then there's those who are infected by William, known as "1st Generation" Werewolves. Like William, they are unable to return to their Human form ever again. And then there are the "2nd Generation" Werewolves, otherwise known as Lycans. This breed came about when Lucian's mother was bitten and turned into a "1st Generation" when she was pregnant and gave birth to him whilst imprisoned by Viktor. Lucian was born in his Human form and could change between that and his Werewolf form. And when he grew older, Viktor used him to turn more slaves for the Vampires to use, resulting in the majority of the Lycan population. Awakening features super lycans, enormous beasts at least twice the size of regular lycans, with commensurately greater strength and stamina. They're also immune to silver.
- Partial Transformation: Lucian can give himself fangs to bite someone without fully transforming. Even more practically, the beefed-up lycan in Awakening can transform his hand to acquire sharp claws. Michael also did the same as well, and Markus liked using his wings to stab people and pin them in place. Selene used her glowing blue eyes to intimidate a truck driver into leaving his truck.
- Plot Hole: The movies does its best to close these up but they're there if one looks hard enough:
- William was captured in 1202 A.D. It was nearly 200 years later when his prison was completed and the only person credited with building it was Selene's father; just how did Viktor keep William contained for the better part of two centuries?
- Tannis explains that Viktor didn't kill William out fear of losing his Lycan slaves. But Rise of the Lycans establishes that the vampires didn't start using Lycans as slaves/daylight guardians until after Lucian was born. Viktor even outright states that Lucian is the first of the Lycans.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Markus and William were twin brothers, yet wound up as different breeds of supernatural creature. It's Hand Waved as having their viruses interact with different animal DNA (one is bitten by a wolf; the other - by a bat).
- Razor Wings: Marcus uses his wings to impale targets, as well as fly.
- Removed Achilles Heel: It happens during the climax of Evolution, Selene gains immunity to UV radiation (and thus sunlight) by drinking Alexander Corvinus' blood and becoming a vampire-Immortal hybrid.
- Replacement Goldfish: Kraven, probably accurately, believes that Viktor only turned Selene because she reminded him of his dead vampire daughter. Which becomes really awkward when its revealed Viktor killed his daughter, and Selene's family.
- Research, Inc.: Antigen does medical research in Underworld: Awakening.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Selene does this in Awakening first to search for Michael and later to rescue Eve.
- Safety In Muggles: It's subverted in the first film when Lycans attack a subway station trying to kidnap Michael. In fact, it's Discuss by the vampires as being a big deal precisely because it's normally played straight.
- Schrödinger's Gun - Remember that amulet around Lucian's neck in the first film? It wasn't until Evolution when we realized it was the key to William's prison.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: William, in his sarcophagus. Justified, however, in that it was all a trick by Marcus to make sure that the vampires wouldn't kill his brother.
- Self-Made Orphan: Marcus, and also Selene, if you consider Viktor, the vampire who infected her, to be considered her "father."
- Single Line of Descent: Subverted, at least partly. Alexander Corvinus, the originator of the virus, had one human son, who did (in fact) produce plenty of modern-day progeny, if the wall of Xed-out photos is any indication. But the only one of those people still carries his special genes, and happens to also share his last name. Lineage Comes from the Father does seem to ring true, however, as the surnames shown are all variants of "Corvinus", suggesting the Lycans didn't bother tracking the bloodline through any of Alexander's female descendents.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: Werewolves are the Slobs, living in a derelict industrial complex, wearing earth tones, long hair, Perma Stubble, and generally being gritty/dirty. Vampires are all pale, wear almost exclusively blacks and reds, are immaculately groomed, beautiful, and live in a decadent Victorian manor... while being arrogant jerkasses. Regular humanity is shown to be generally somewhere in between, though closer to the lycans in terms of their conventional, everyman aesthetic. Coincidentally, this also explains how the lycans were able to embed themselves with some relatively ease into human society in Awakening.
- Source Music: The Lycan cops who kidnap Michael pop in a heavy metal cassette to try to drown out his screaming. They leave it on when they go to tranquilize him to keep him from transforming prematurely.
- Stairwell Chase: In the first film, when the Lycans find Michael and Selene's safe house.
- Styrofoam Rocks: In the commentary, the movie's creators point out in a scene towards the end of the movie that some of the stone debris from someone getting thrown through a wall can be seen to float in a pool of water. Oops.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome:
- And apparently Michael in Awakening. Although it turns out to be a Disney Death.
- Super Strength:
- The vampiric Death Dealers routinely display incredible levels of incredible strength, whether its hitting people with enough force to disable them and throw them like rag dolls, to lifting people up by their necks and leaping all over the place and surviving incredible drops, due to being Made of Iron.
- Compared to their monstrously strong Lycan cousins, the Death Dealers and most Vampires seem weaker by comparison.
- Elders and Hybrids have been shown to have incredible levels of strength above that. Markus was able to pull a goddamn helicopter out of the sky with a small amount of effort, Michael was able to rip off William's head as if it was attached with tape, and Viktor was able to go toe to toe with Michael, only surpassing him due to experience and tenacity. Selene herself got into the action, killing two random Vampires with blows to the head(and into a wall with one of them), being able to go toe to toe with Markus and winning(due to being infused with blood from Alexander Corvinus) and tackling a moving van like a linebacker.
- Subject 2/Eve, who's able to rip a Lycan's head apart with her bare hands, all after having gone who knows how long without feeding properly and suffering a gaping wound in her throat, courtesy of the Lycan.
- Super Speed: If Vampires have one thing that puts them above their Lycan cousins, its their physical speed. While Lycans are fast, compared to Vampires, they're nowhere near as fleet of foot. In their Human forms, the Lycans are pretty damn quick, but still marginally slower then Vampires. Selene managed to display her Super Speed abilities, by dodging gunfire and quickly reappearing and overpowering her attacker, and she managed to show this off again, in Awakening; by dodging gunfire and slicing the throats of the Antigen Lycan Guards firing at her.
- A Taste of the Lash: In Rise of the Lycans, after capturing Lucian, Viktor subjects him to thirty lashes for betraying his trust, with even one lash being brutal enough to Lucian, and Viktor makes it clear that he wants Lucian to suffer even after the first twenty-one lashes, even forbidding Sonja, his own daughter, from intervening on pain of serious punishment. A Kick the Dog moment if there ever was one. Lucian later gets whipped again, by Soren, with Sonja chained to a post and forced to watch before she is put to death via sunlight.
- Time Skip: The twelve years between Evolution and Awakening, compared to half a night between the first movie and Evolution.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- While Selene was already plenty badass, she becomes even moreso after taking Alexander Corvinus' blood and becoming a vampire/immortal hybrid. Marcus even notes it.
- In Awakening, David goes from a relatively unskilled idealist, to a total badass after Selene brings him back from the dead.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Happens in the first movie when a death-dealer simply stands idly by as a Lycan transforms. Bad idea!
- Trapped in a Sinking Car: Selene passes out at the wheel from a loss of blood, sinking into the river together with Michael.
- Treasure Chest Cavity: Viktor has one half of the key to William's prison hidden inside his chest. (The other half is hanging around Lucian's neck, or at least was in the first film.)
- The Unmasqued World: In Awakening, humans have found out about vampires and lycans and started hunting down both of them. Selene, while breaking into a sporting goods/gun store, sees vampire and lycan teeth on sale.
- Urban Fantasy: The series genre, with the notable exception of Rise of the Lycans.
- Vampire Monarch: Marcus Corvinus is the first of the vampire elders.
- Viral Transformation: The immortal brothers Marcus and William were turned into monsters by two different viruses, which they then spread to other people.
- Weakened by the Light: Several vampires (including one very prominent heroine) meet their maker via this trope throughout the series, especially after the Lycans learned to develop artificial UV light as ammunition.
- We Have Been Researching Phlebotinum For Years: when Selene tells Michael about the werewolves and the vampires.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: While the kidnapping and experimenting on innocent humans is a little distasteful, all Lucian was really trying to do was prevent the vampires from exterminating his species.
- Werewolf Themenaming: 'Lucian' is a real name with an unrelated etymology, but sounds similar to Lycan, which again sounds like a shortening of 'lycanthrope' ('wolf-man' or werewolf).
- What Happened to the Mouse?: A retro-active example: Kraven was obviously "cleaning up Viktor's messes" during the time of Rise of the Lycans, which takes place literally months before Selene's family is murdered, yet he doesn't appear or even get mentioned at all. Heck, even Soren, who has one of the least prominent roles in the series, appears briefly in the prequel.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The city that the films are set in not only doesn't conform to any one location, but the continent that it's on can't even be conclusively determined. Characters speak with a mix of American, British and European accents, while the city contains a mix of North American and European characteristics in the vehicles (Mercedes police cruisers alongside large Ford sedans) and architecture.
- The first movie shows German and Hungarian words in Michael's address, the second movie has Russian or Eastern European cops going after Michael (when he tried to eat normal food) and the fourth movie seems to be set up in either a Future American City or an Airstrip One Expy. Notice that in all movies, vehicle license plates resemble those used in European Union countries sans the country indicator.
- The novels try to claim that everything takes place in Budapest and the surrounding area. The Russian truck driver in Evolution was driving home after making a delivery.
- The first movie was filmed in Budapest, whereas the second and fourth film were filmed in Vancouver. In the Behind the Scenes for Underworld Awakening, they revealed where the movies were filmed. As far as in-universe, the novelization and script indicates Budapest. I wouldn't be surprised if the fourth movie was set in Budapest as well, despite being filmed in Vancouver.
- The Worf Effect: Deliberately used on Selene in Awakening, to show how out of touch she is with the world. When breaking out of Antigen labs in the beginning, she is stabbed in the shoulder, leaps out a window to land painfully on a truck, is thrown from the tuck when the driver hits the breaks, and is then shot in the head by said driver. The enormous lycan is also established as a threat by the way it knocks her around. However, Selene manages to remain a badass in that those things that happen during her escape don't hurt her, as much as they just piss her off; and she does manage to kill the uber-lycan.
- Would Hit a Girl:
- Kraven gives Selene a vicious slap to the face.
- The first thing Viktor does when he arrives on the scene during Lucian's attempt to rescue Sonja...flat out punch her in the face. In the first film, he grabs Selene by the neck and hurls her across a room when he discovers her attempting to turn Michael instead of killing him as she was ordered.
- Written by the Winners: Viktor rewrote vampire history to appear as if he was the original vampire, when, in fact, it was another Elder, Marcus. While he is quite willing to acknowledge the legend that vampires and werewolves came from the brother Corvinus ("One bit by a bat, the other bit by a wolf"), but he makes fun of it, probably to diminish the connection between Lycans and Vampires. On the other hand, he's quite willing to rewrite his murder of Selene's entire family. Selene shows signs of being aware of this. She recognizes that Kraven is not enough of a warrior to have actually killed Lucian, but as the only survivor could claim that he did. She also initially comments that the Lycans started the war, but then admits that that is what is said anyway. By the second film, she's (accurately) assumed virtually everything Viktor has said is a lie.
- You Sexy Beast: Vampires are sleek and seductive, dressing in stylish gothic fashions. Werewolves are brawny, rough-and-tumble men in leather. They have sex.
- Zero-G Spot: In Rise of the Lycans, a vampire and a lycan have gravity-defying sex, hanging off the edge of a cliff.