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Film / Underworld (2003)
aka: Underworld Rise Of The Lycans

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The Underworld series is a set of Action Horror 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 (werewolves) and the vampires. After centuries of conflict, the vampires are able to gain the upper hand when Lucian, the leader of the Lycans, is seemingly killed.

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 five movies:

  • Underworld (2003), directed by Len Wiseman. It 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), directed by Len Wiseman. 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's immortal father, who is just as interested in stopping him as they are.
  • Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009), directed by Patrick Tatopoulos. Depicts the origin of the Lycan rebellion against their Vampire masters, sparked by the Star-Crossed 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), directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. It 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.
  • Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), directed by Anna Foerster. it is a direct sequel to Awakening and features Selene and David from that film taking on a new threat. Trent Garrett replaces Scott Speedman as Michael Corvin.

Underworld: Blood Enemy (2004) is a non-canon novel (it contradicts several details in Evolution and Rise of the Lycans, which were made after it was written) that shows a different take on the origin of the Lycan rebellion. It then continues to the modern day where a vengeful Lycan named Leyba runs afoul of both Lucian and Selene.

Underworld: Red in Tooth and Claw (2004) is a non-canon comic (it contradicts Rise of the Lycans) that shows a different take on how Raze became a Lycan and Lucian's right hand man.

Underworld: Endless War (2011) is a three part animated film where Selene battles three Lycan brothers in 1890, 1967, and 2012.

Not to be confused with Underworld (1927), The Underworld, that underworld, Ultima Underworld, the band Underworld, or a Metro-Specific Underworld, which it may loosely reference.

The Underworld series contains examples of:

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  • 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.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Both the masquerade setting itself, and within the vampire clan under the noses of its members.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The vampires are portrayed as rich aristocrats who live in a mansion and dress in fancy clothes, with their own hired armies. This is in contrast to the Lycans, who were previously their slaves, and now live underground.
  • Armed Females, Unarmed Males: Selene and Michael are the primary Battle Couple of the films. Selene uses guns in addition to martial arts while Michael is an Unskilled, but Strong vampire-werewolf hybrid who fights unarmed.
  • 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 by Soren. In the prequel, he whips Lucian, who can't fight back, and then when Raze - who can fight back, and is significantly larger - confronts him in the first movie... Yeah.
  • Badass Longcoat: Vampires and Lycans both wear them, and they have a noted tendency to catch the breeze.
  • Big Bad: Viktor in the first movie and Rise of the Lycans, Marcus in Evolution, Dr. Lane in Awakening, Marius and Semira in Blood Wars.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The whole Vampire/Werewolf conflict is more grey and gray or black and black. Rise of The Lycans and Evolution are the only films where the protagonists can be argued to be the more heroic participants in the conflict, rather than the guys with the correct viewpoint.
  • Blessed with Suck: Of the two immortal species, vampires are by far the weaker. UV radiation is almost instantly deadly, most "normal" physical injuries are still dangerous and Lycan fighting usually results in very high casualties including an Elder and most of the senior Death Dealers in the first movie. Their only edge - and presumably the reason they ultimately won in the first place - is that the Lycan weakness to silver is much more easily weaponized. This edge gets significantly dulled when the lycans invent UV rounds for their guns.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • When Selene is escaping in Awakening a guard shoots her in the head. It just pisses her off.
    • Lucian is shot in the head (and various other appendages) by Selene in the first movie. It's not much more effective, though it does slow him down a bit while he struggles to force the silver bullets out of his body.
  • Boring, but Practical: In the 600 years she's had as a Death Dealer, Selene has learned a lot of brutal, efficient ways to deal with her enemies. She's not one for using flashy moves to deal with her enemies, and when she goes for the kill, She goes for the Overkill. She makes sure you're not going to get back up, much less intact to regenerate. She's the polar opposite of Michael in these regards, as Michael; having no previous combat training, fights in a very aggressive, very animalistic manner, with no solid, reliable technique. Of course, this works for him considering his speed and strength.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Zig-zagged. Selene's automatic pistols must just be magical, usually roaring with one continuous noise as they spew bullets like water out of a hose. Her infamous Bullet Hole Trap Door is only one example. However, her guns will run out and force her to reload or fight hand-to-hand if it's expedient to the plot.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Viktor essentially created his kind's worst enemy by treating the Lycans in general and Lucian in particular like dirt until they couldn't take it anymore, the final straw being Viktor having his own daughter killed via sunlight and forcing Lucian, her lover, to watch the whole thing.
  • Call-Back: Quite a few between earlier and later films in the series.
    • Viktor punching Sonja in the face from offscreen (Rise of the Lycans) when she attempts to assist Lucian is similar to a scene in Underworld, where he does the same to Selene when she interferes in his fight with Michael.
    • Semira staring in shock and dismay as David flees with Selene into the sunlight (Blood Wars) where she can't follow (or risk being burned alive) resembles a similar scene from Rise of the Lycans, where an incensed Viktor glares impotently while Lucian and a handful of liberated Lycan slaves escape from his castle with dawn's light creeping even closer to him, singeing his knuckles before he finally retreats into the shade.
    • Both Thomas and Semira are killed with by having a sword shoved down their throats (Blood Wars). Lucian delivers a similar fate to Viktor in Rise of the Lycans, but he survives this.
    • Eve tears a transformed Lycan's skull apart with her bare hands in Awakenings, similar to how her father, Michael, did away with William Corvinus, the first of the werewolves, and their ancestor (Evolution).
  • Color Wash: The series is famous for heavily saturating their visuals in Unnaturally Blue Lighting.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • 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. Although, the fact that he kept the werewolf that became Lucian's mother in captivity may suggest that he was tying to keep them on chains like guard dogs, as Tannis did in "Evolution"
    • Viktor also lies when it's convenient for him and effortlessly. He obviously thought History is Written by the Winners, meaning him. He never thought Selene would go looking for the actual truth instead of just accepting his version of events.
    • The execution scene of Viktor's daughter seen in flashback in the first Underworld film is very different from what we see in Rise of the Lycans. The former was a public execution in an arena, but the latter has just the two of them alone in a room. The 2017 restoration of the first film adds in the execution scene from Rise of the Lycans instead.
  • Costume Porn: Vampires sure have a fondness for fancy outfits. While male civilians in the present-day movies usually have something of a fetish look on them, the ladies almost exclusively wear gorgeous dresses entirely in line with the series' gothic vibes.
  • 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 in general tends to hand these out with increasing frequency the longer the series progresses. From the end of Evolution onwards, she's a nigh-unkillable One-Woman Army who will utterly wreck anything in her path that isn't the current plot's super-powered Big Bad.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: UV rounds for killing vampires, silver nitrate rounds for killing Lycans. Both are surprisingly effective against armor, considering the liquid cores. That last part is brutally corrected in Blood Wars, much to the vampires' detriment.
  • 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.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Vampires were the oppressors of Lycans, who were their slaves in the past, and treated like animals. Love between the species was forbidden and the war was started when Viktor had his daughter put to death for getting pregnant with Lucian's baby, specifically to prevent 'contamination' of the blood. Writer Kevin Grevioux, who is Black, actually based the Star-Crossed Lovers storyline on his own experiences with interracial dating.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Literally when Lucian leads the Lycan rebellion. Lucian himself runs afoul of it when Kraven kills him.
  • 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. Viktor on the other hand... And then continued with Marcus in the second film, a Scot with an English accent.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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 Monologue, 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.
  • Forever War: The Lycans and Vampires have been at war for over eight hundred years by the time of "Underworld". it's even occasionally referred to as the 'Eternal War'.
    • The Vampire-Werewolf war two hundred years prior to that also kind of counts as it waged on for six hundred years between the Vampires and the first generation of Werewolves, only ending when William Corvinus, the original and most powerful werewolf, was finally captured.
  • Genetic Memory: Carried in the blood of both werewolves and vampires are the "parent's" memories, which can be accessed by drinking.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • While the Big Bad of Evolution, Marcus Corvinus is this for the series as a whole as he's the first vampire and the one who sired all the rest.
    • Viktor is this to any film which involves the war between vampires and Lycans (including Awakening), as he's the one responsible for setting it off. Blood Wars also features a vampire looking to avenge him as one of the players in its Big Bad Ensemble.
  • Guns Akimbo: Selene wields almost all her guns, in all of the films she appears in, in pairs. Seriously, just have a look at the page image(s). When Cassius finds her discarded pistols in Blood Wars, Varga states outright that Selene has a marked preference for these particular guns.
  • 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. Marcus 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.
  • Hybridization Plot: A major plot point in the franchise, considering the fact that hybrids there tend to run on Hybrid Power:
    • In the original movie, the major reason why the Lycans want Michael is that being a direct descendant of the common ancestor between the Lycans and Vampires, he is the only person capable of becoming a Lycan-Vampire hybrid, which they intend to weaponize to kill off the vampire leadership.
    • In Evolution, Marcus wanted to turn his werewolf brother William into a hybrid in an attempt to restore his humanity, with plans as well to create a new race of hybrids to rule over alongside his brother, although he is killed before he could do so.
  • Hybrid Monster: Michael Corvin becomes one, specifically the first Half-vampire-half-Lycan. Later, Marcus also becomes one. There's also Subject 2, the daughter of Michael Corvin and Selene. Lucian and Sonja's child would have been a straight Vampire-Lycan hybrid if it had lived. Michael started out as a Lycan with the dormant Corvinus gene who had the vampire DNA added later. Marcus was the other way around. Subject 2, on the other hand, was born from Michael's already-existent hybrid DNA mixing with Selene's vampire DNA which had already mixed with pure immortal DNA from Alexander Corvinus. These different combinations and scenarios could explain the different appearances of the hybrids.
  • Hybrid-Overkill Avoidance: Why there are no hybrids before Michael.
  • Hybrid Power: The overarching story arc of the series is pretty much driven by this trope, though only the fourth movie features a child inheriting both parents' powers—other hybridization instances are carried out via vampiric blood absorption/transmission. To boot:
    • Michael Corvin becomes a werewolf-vampire hybrid by getting subsequently bitten by Lucian, a werewolf, and Selene, a vampire.
    • Selene becomes a vampire-Immortal hybrid (among other things, rendering her immune to sunlight) by drinking Alexander Corvinus's blood in the second movie.
    • The fourth movie reveals that Selene's and Michael's daughter inherited both her dad's werewolf strength and her mom's vampiric abilities. Since most of Selene's pregnancy occurred after she became an immortal, it is likely that Eve inherited immortality, as well, making her a triple hybrid.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Thoroughly averted.
    • Alexander Corvinus, the first immortal, sired three sons (two of whom inherited his immortality) after becoming immortal.
    • Two of the three Elders had vampire children with other vampires (Viktor having Sonja with his wife, who died in childbirth, and Amelia having David with Thomas, a leader of the Western Coven; in the non-canon Blood Enemy, Marcus also had a vampire son, Nicolae, who was later killed by Lucian).
    • Selene and Michael had a daughter, Eve.
    • Lena, introduced in Blood Wars, is a pure-born.
    • On the Lycan side, Lucian was born to an enslaved werewolf, though whether she was pregnant before being turned or impregnated afterward is unknown. Lucian later sired a child with Sonja, but the unborn hybrid died with her.
  • Immune to Bullets: Not exactly, but they don't seem to be very effective. Older werewolves can just push them out of their flesh (or skull, in Lucian's case), and vampires seem able to survive all sorts of impalements. In the second film, Selene takes a shotgun blast to the torso without visible injury, and Marcus survives five or six such shots in a row and is only slowed down with minor bleeding. Silver bullets do kill Lycans, but they can heal from them. The silver nitrate liquid rounds kill them very quickly; and the UV bullets are similarly effective against vampires. Marcus can shrug them off because he's that tough, and Selene's corset may be bulletproof.

    The novelizations make mention that even though bullets don't do much harm to Vampires and Lycans under normal circumstances, a lot of bullets will harm and kill them. William would more than likely have died from continuous fire delivered from the machinegun mounted on the Cleaners' helicopter, even with his regenerative abilities and size. As tough as they are and even with their regenerative abilities, they're not impervious to sustained gunfire from either small arms or larger. With this information in mind, it's no wonder humanity was able to nearly drive them to extinction in Awakening.
  • Informed Attribute: Due to his nature as a Hybrid, Michael is supposed to be more powerful than Vampire or Lycan regardless of age. While he does get in a minute of smacking Viktor around, he ultimately ends up being nearly killed by him, requiring Selene to save him. He becomes little more than a minion to Selene in Evolutions, and does virtually nothing of note against Markus. He becomes completely irrelevant in the fourth film and is apparently nowhere to be seen whatsoever in the fifth, rendering the Hybrid a completely pointless piece of the lore. Selene quickly overshadows him to the point he's written entirely out of the series.
  • 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.
  • 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: The existence of vampires and werewolves is the only supernatural stuff in the franchise, and there's Grey-and-Grey Morality everywhere. The vampires and werewolves do battle with human weapons rather than supernatural powers - with a couple of modifications to target their opponents' weaknesses.
  • 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:
    1. 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, an injury that more than likely damaged the top of his spinal column. That's not something you easily walk away from, as proven twice in Blood Wars when both Thomas and Semira succumb to the same treatment with fatal results.)
    2. Being impaled by ballista bolts. (Its highly doubtful that the Lycans who were hit by those during their escape of Castle Corvinus survived.)
    3. 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. And having an instant Healing Factor won't save you from this either, especially if someone manages to lodge the grenade inside you so that you heal right before it goes off.)
  • 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 Alexander Corvinus 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 Marcus 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". It would seem unusual on the initial watch of the first film since she hates the Lycans, but a rewatch provides foreshadowing that she will betray her Coven for the love of one.
    • Viktor likes to win, obviously.
    • Lucian, meaning "light". fitting for a daylight guard
  • 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. Gets eventually exaggerated in Blood Wars.
  • Monogender Monsters: Going by the movies, there was exactly one female Lycan, Lucian's mother, who was infected while pregnant.note  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 are a few distinct mentions of female Lycans within the novels of the movies. This is averted in Blood Wars, which shows a couple of females among the Lycans and fighting side by side with them, but they have no lines or real character.
  • Monster Lord: Viktor and the other Vampire Elders for the vampires, and the intelligent Lycan Lucian for the Lycans.
  • Neck Lift: Once per Episode at the very least. Considering the vampires' and lycans' Super-Strength, it's hardly out of place.
  • 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.
  • Obviously Evil: Comes up a lot, really. Even more morally grey characters like Selene and Lucian have nothing on the likes of Kraven and Viktor.
  • The Older Immortal: Alexander Corvinus, the original immortal, who even looks older than the rest.
  • Once an Episode: Someone is going to have their head bisected, vertically, diagonally, or horizontally once per film.
    • (In)famously in the first film, with Viktor's belated demise.
    • In the anime Endless Wars, the second of the lycan brothers to Selene's sword
    • Michael rips the top half of William's head off with his bare hands in Evolution
    • Rise of the Lycans uses this twice with random werewolf mooks in the first and last battles.
    • Eve splits an attacking Lycan's head in half vertically with her bare hands, in Awakening much like her father Michael.
    • David gets in on the action in Blood Wars, taking up several notches by just cutting the poor guy in half.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Shane Brolly is Northern Irish, with the effect that Kraven's American accent slips from scene to scene.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Vampires are stereotypically pale, blood-drinking, almost completely immortal, and 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 are 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 Marcus 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 franchise 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?
    • Markus intended to wipe out all Vampires and Lycans, starting over with William as a super race of hybrids. He has time to bite William and start the transformation but just doesn't.
  • Primal Polymorphs:
    • Downplayed in the case of the Lycans; they're definitely Working-Class Werewolves, occasionally growl in anger, and aren't above the occasional fight for entertainment - prompting Lucian to yell at his underlings for acting like "a pack of rabid dogs" - but otherwise remain largely non-animalistic. They even have a Mad Scientist in their ranks. Most of their true sophistication is ignored by their vampire enemies, who believe that the Lycans aren't smart enough to have developed their own UV bullets and assume that the only reason why Lycans would stalk a human would be for food.
    • By contrast, the original Lycan strain (born from William Corvinus) are little more than animals, rendered entirely feral by the virus that created them, transforming only once before spending the rest of their lives as rampaging monsters.
  • Rule of Cool: The series runs on this. Seriously, what else did you expect from movies with a gorgeous dual-wielding Vampiress clad in skin-tight leather catsuits on one side and handsome, vengeful, ultraviolet bullets-shooting Werewolves on the other? Not to mention all the Costume Porn, Stuff Blowing Up, and Large Ham everywhere.
  • Secret War: The Vampires and Lycans have been waging one against each other for centuries, unbeknownst to mankind at large save for the occasional rumor or legend. This is thanks to the Cleaners, human spec-ops hand-picked by Alexander Corvinus to make sure that said war is never exposed to the public. The Cleaners are wiped out in Evolution, soon making it nigh impossible to keep the Secret War hidden.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Markus, and also Selene, if you consider Viktor, the vampire who infected her, to be considered her "father."
  • Shapeshifter Longevity: Lycans are just as immortal as Vampires since both are the result of mutant viruses infecting members of the Corvinus clan; in fact, this longevity is probably the reason why they were chosen as Viktor's daywalking Slave Race rather than humans. For good measure, Selene notes in the intro that the war between the two species has become even more dangerous in recent years is because older lycans are no longer affected by the full moon and can now transform at will.
  • Shapeshifting Sound: Lycan transformations in the franchise always feature a lot of unpleasant crunching and popping sound effects, likely drawing inspiration from An American Werewolf in London.
  • 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 descendants.
  • 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.
  • Super-Speed: If Vampires have one thing that puts them above their Lycan cousins, it's 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 than 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.
  • Super-Strength:
    • The vampiric Death Dealers routinely display incredible levels of strength, whether it's 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.
  • Time Skip: The twelve years between Evolution and Awakening, compared to half a night between the first movie and Evolution.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Vampire Procreation Limit: Vampirism is transferred virally via a bite, though Selene states that most humans who get bitten just die instead because their bodies can't handle the mutation; anyone who wants to become a vampire is taking a gamble. Vampires can conceive 'pure-born' vampires, but it's implied this is quite rare.
  • Vampiric Werewolf: The Hybrids in the series are created from a combination of Vampire strain and Lycan strain viruses due to sharing their unique heritage from the original immortal.
    • Michael Corvin is the first one seen in the series after being bitten by a Lycan and a Vampire on two separate occasions.
    • Markus Corvinus, the second movie's Big Bad, becomes a Hybrid after unwittingly ingesting Lycan's blood, though he looks more like a Chiroptean monster rather than anything vaguely resembling a Wolf.
    • Eve, Michael's and Selene's daughter who's born a Hybrid.
    • Their appearance seems to depend on what order they were turned in. Michael was bitten by a Lycan first and then a Vampire, and he looks like a wolf-man, although more man-like than the Lycans. Marcus was a Vampire first and then ingested Lycan blood, and he became a winged bat-monster, capable of shape-shifting into a human form. Eve, who was born hybrid, looks even more human than her father Michael, as her Vampire and Immortal heritage (both races had human features) seems to take priority in her physical appearance over her Lycan's.
  • Vampires Are Rich: The members of Kraven's vampire clan live in a gigantic mansion, throw extravagant balls, and wear gorgeous costumes.
  • 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.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Silver for Lycans, UV light for Vampires.
  • Werewolf Theme Naming: 'Lucian' is a real name with an unrelated etymology but sounds similar to Lycan, which is a shortening of 'Lycanthrope' ('wolf-man' or werewolf).
  • 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 Hungarian-speaking cops going after Michael (when he tried to eat normal food) as well as several extras speaking French, 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, but this is contradicted the the presence of large bodies of water in Evolution and Awakening. The Russian truck driver in Evolution was driving home after making a delivery. The fifth film gives some context by having its third act explicitly set in Scandinavia, but otherwise does little to clarify the series's central location.
    • Looking at the filming locations only muddles things up even more. To note, the first film was shot in Budapest, the second and fourth films in Vancouver, the third film in New Zealand, and the fifth film in Prague.
  • Working-Class Werewolves: Lycans were once slaves to the Vampires, living in squalor and wearing rags. After their rebellion, their conditions improved slightly, but they still seem to be stuck living in abandoned buildings or even sewers and have far fewer resources than the vampires, who tend to live in mansions and throw swanky parties. A notable aversion is Underworld: Awakening, where it's revealed that Lycans control Antigen, a wealthy pharmaceutical company.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Aside from Michael, Corvinus, Sebastian, Thomas, and David, just about every male character Selene crosses paths with has no problem with playing this trope straight. Justified, as they're all villains or antagonists.
  • Written by the Winners:
    • Viktor rewrote vampire history to appear as if he was the original vampire, when, in fact, it was another Elder, Markus. 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"), 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 is the only survivor who 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.
    • This is also true for most of the Selene arc as a whole. There are villains and sympathetic characters among both Vampires and Lycans, but since the main protagonist Selene is a Vampire and the entire story is told (and actually narrated) from her perspective, the vampires invariably get off better than the werewolves. It's especially prevalent in Awakening and Blood Wars, both of which feature lycans as the main villains.
  • 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. Downplayed with Michael, who's a human-turned-Vampire/Lycan hybrid.
  • Your Head A-Splode:
    • Selene explodes a Lycan's head above the jaw after wrestling one to the ground and emptying her gun into his face.
    • Kraven meets his end with Markus this way.
    • When William gets his head wrenched apart at the jaws by Michael, the result is basically the same as if it had been asploded.
    • What Subject 2 does to the Lycan assaulting her in the van at the beginning of Awakening fits the bill as well.

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Viktor's sword, which Selene uses against him.
  • All There in the Manual: Erika is apparently a courtesan, but nothing in the film would indicate this besides her wearing a sexy outfit for the party.
  • Alleged Lookalikes: It's said that Selene reminded Viktor so much of his daughter Sonja that he had to make her the Replacement Goldfish. When we see Sonja in a flashback, she's blonde and looks nothing like Selene. Rise of the Lycans would correct this, by casting Rhona Mitra, who is known for her resemblance to Kate Beckinsale.
  • 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...
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: All the sympathetic characters are beautiful, and Lucian is more visually appealing to symbolise he's an Anti-Villain at worst. The least sympathetic characters are presented as unattractive - Singe is a creepy scientist who strings potential Corvinus descendants up for his blood experiments and reacts with glee at Amelia's murder, Kraven is a Dirty Coward who acts entitled to have Selene, manipulates Erika to do his bidding and hits Selene when Michael escapes, and Viktor is a depraved warlord who murdered Selene's family and tricked her into thinking it was the Lycans, as well as killing his own daughter for falling for one.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Selene starts treating Michael much better once he saves her from an apparent drowning.
  • Broken Pedestal: Selene begins the film respecting Viktor and follows his word without question. Upon discovering he had his own daughter executed for carrying a Lycan's child, not to mention slaughtering her family and convincing her the Lycans did so - she realises he's brainwashed her into becoming a killer who continues the oppression he was responsible for.
  • Bullet Hole Door: Selene makes one through the floor. With silver bullets, no less. MythBusters attempted to reproduce this specific stunt, and couldn't do it, even with 10 times the ammo. The stunt itself was no picnic. Kate Beckinsale states in the commentary that the shrapnel from the broken floor tile was exploding into her face.
  • Cassandra Truth: Selene attempting to warn Kraven and, later, Viktor about Lucian being alive.
  • Casual High Drop: During the opening narration, the Vampire Selene is kneeling on the edge of a balcony. She jumps off and falls a long way to the ground, lands on her feet, and just walks away.
  • Compressed Hair: Minor Lycan Taylor has long hair normally, and keeps it pinned up under a hat when impersonating a cop.
  • Control Freak: Adding to Kraven's rather uncomfortably abusive treatment of Selene during the movie, he insists on apparently knowing where she is, what she's doing, and where she's been at all times.
  • Creator Cameo: Raze is played by Kevin Grevioux, who was one of the co-creators of the story.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Averted. It is mentioned that Vampires have successfully created synthetic plasma, which allows them to sustain themselves without feeding on humans. Selene mentions that the company manufacturing the substitute is waiting for government approval to mass-market it.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: At first it seems like Lucian, the Lycan leader, is the instigator of the war, out to exterminate all vampires. As it turns out, he's only after Viktor, who killed his wife and made the war genocidal.
  • Distressed Dude: Michael ends up captured and needs to be rescued by Selene in the third act.
  • Domestic Abuse: Kraven's treatment of Selene runs like an abusive relationship. He's very controlling, demands absolute obedience from her, and is essentially powerless when Selene stands up to him.
  • Dual Wielding: Soren, 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. And, of course, Selene and her two pistols.
  • Enhance Button: The protagonist Selene has a picture of someone whose face is only four pixels large. But at the press of a button, it becomes a clear image of her love interest.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Lucian has an understated one when he sees the connection between Selene and Michael, probably reminding himself of what he once had with Sonja. He then encourages Selene to bite him, thus fulfilling his plan to create a vampire-lycan hybrid.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Viktor is the true Big Bad, but he did genuinely love Selene like a daughter.
  • Expositing the Masquerade: Michael has no idea what's going on, so Selene explains the war to him, and by extension, the audience.
  • 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 has a family tree showing the dates for the Corvinus family dating back to the 5th century AD with Marcus Corvinus.
  • Feminist Fantasy: The protagonist is an Action Girl in the traditionally male role of the Byronic Hero and is a One-Woman Army whenever she gets into a fight, while the male lead is in the traditionally female role of the Damsel in Distress. The story is about Selene realising the prison she's been in for most of her life and rebelling to become more independent, rejecting a man who feels Entitled to Have You and defying her father figure to choose the man she loves. The war is likewise revealed to have been started over injustice at how an innocent woman was punished for an affair.
  • The Ghost: Marcus. 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's backstory.
  • Good All Along: Lucian, more or less.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Viktor, letting Selene live and turning her into a vampire because she reminds him so much of his late daughter Sonja, only to end up getting killed by his surrogate child.
  • Idiot Ball: Kraven. From slipping up and dropping Lucian's name in an argument with Selene to... just about everything else his ego leads him to do.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Erika immediately starts gushing about Michael's attractiveness on seeing just a zoomed-in image from a surveillance picture. Selene is also seemingly taken with him on first sight.
  • Ironic Name: Selene, only in the first film. She's a ruthless killer with a vendetta against Lycans, and her name comes from the Greek Goddess of the moon - which is associated with werewolf transformations.
  • Irony: Selene has a personal hatred of Lycans at the beginning of the film, thanks to the murder of her entire family before she was turned into a vampire. Of course, it would be her who falls for a man who's been bitten by one, and becomes an outlaw for that love.
  • I Did What I Had to Do:
    Selene: It wasn't the Lycans. It was you. How could you bear my trust knowing that you killed my family?
    Viktor: Yes, I have taken from you but I have given so much more. Is it not a fair trade for life I have granted you? The gift of immortality?
    Selene: And the life of your daughter? Your own flesh and blood?
    Viktor: I loved my daughter! But the abomination growing in her womb was a betrayal of me and the coven! I did what was necessary to protect the species! As I am forced to do yet again!
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Played straight with Selene after she discovers that it was Viktor, not the Lycans, who killed her family.
  • Last-Second Villain Recovery: The film concludes with a battle between the vampire elder Viktor and werewolf/vampire hybrid Michael Corvin. At first, Michael looks like he has the old bastard on the ropes, dominating his opponent through raw strength and even pinning Viktor against a wall. Unfortunately, the elder hasn't lived this long without learning some serious fighting skills: one minute in, and Viktor begins turning the tide through the martial arts he's learned over the centuries, until he has Michael in a headlock and is ready to kill him. What finally ends Viktor is a sword to the head courtesy of Selene.
  • Love Triangle: Kraven thinks he's in one with Selene and Michael in the first film. Also, Erika is in love with Kraven, but he only has eyes for Selene.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Michael spends most of his screen time in a tight t-shirt, showing off Scott Speedman's biceps, and his eventual werewolf transformation naturally sees him remaining shirtless for the rest of the film.
  • Nice Guy: Lucian seems to be one, one of the first hints he's not actually the bad guy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lucian and Kraven were planning to broker a peace treaty between the vampires and lycans before Selene interfered. Marcus also wouldn't have become a hybrid, and humanity wouldn't have found out about the existence of immortals.
  • Oh, Crap!: Pierce and Taylor, when the vampires drop a silver grenade into the access tunnel they are climbing up.
    Pierce: Oh shit.
  • One-Word Title: Underworld.
  • Perfect Poison: Subverted with the silver nitrate Kahn makes to use on the Lycans. While it is more effective than silver bullets, since it goes straight into the bloodstream and can't be extracted, it doesn't kill instantly, and Lucian is able to survive long enough to stab Kraven in the leg.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Selene's overreliance on her blood memories to inform Viktor about Lucian being alive and Kraven's conspiracy with him nearly gets her judged. In retrospect, her just mentioning the pendant around Lucian's neck would have been all the proof she needed, but she had no way of knowing that at the time.
  • 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. Rise of the Lycans would amplify this by casting a different actress to play Sonja who more specifically resembles Kate Beckinsale.
  • Safety in Muggles: Subverted when Lycans attack a subway station to try and kidnap Michael. In fact, it's discussed by the vampires as being a big deal precisely because it's normally played straight.
  • She-Fu: Downplayed, but Selena employs a lot more rolls and cartwheels in her fighting for Rule of Cool.
  • 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: When the Lycans find Michael's 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.
  • Token Minority: Kahn is the only non-white vampire with a speaking part, and Raze likewise for the Lycans.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: We have Selene, the no-nonsense Death Dealer, who's an Unkempt Beauty and thinks only of fighting, in contrast with Erika - the beautiful blonde who tries to get Selene to wear pretty dresses, flirts with Kraven and Squees about Michael's attractiveness.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Happens 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.
  • Unexplained Accent: Kraven has a Northern Irish accent, and is the only one of such nationality present alongside a mixture of English and American characters.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out!: Subverted. A Lycan physician notes that there's no use in removing Ag bullets from a corpse because the silver they contained has penetrated the organs, rendering regeneration impossible.
  • 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.
  • Woman Scorned: Erika helps Selene escape the house once she overhears that Kraven is planning to make her his queen. Of course, you could also interpret it as realizing she had no hope of being with Kraven. The extended edition clarifies that she was hoping this would stop Kraven's infatuation with Selene and make her his queen instead, which amounts to nothing when he leaves her at the mansion.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Selene constantly finds herself on the receiving end of this trope when Michael is involved. Lucian stabs her in the shoulder while she's trying to escape with Michael from his apartment. Kraven gives Selene a vicious slap to the face when Michael flees the manor. Near the end, Viktor 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. Not long after that, he punches her out when she attempts to intervene in his fight with Michael.

    Underworld: Evolution 
  • Anatomically Impossible Sex: Selene and Michael's infamously awkward sex scene. 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"
  • Badass Normal: While they get slaughtered by William, the Cleaners themselves are pretty damn badass, considering what they do for a living. They are handpicked by Alexander Corvinus himself and are selected from the best and brightest in the Special Forces community from around the world, including those of the alphabet agencies that have paramilitary operations. That's nothing to sneeze at. And while we never to get see all of what they do, aside from kicking the crap out of Hungarian Police officers out in the woods; We are given the impression that they've seen action in regards to the Vampires and Lycans, especially with scragglers & other intervening parties from either side.
  • Bat Out of Hell: The vampire Elder Marcus, on account of his becoming a hybrid, seems to have grown leathery gray skin and enormous, sycthe-like bat-wings.
  • Bloodless Carnage: While the movies don't shy away from gore, William's above-the-jaw decapitation has no blood spatter what-so-ever, just dry meat. This is particularly odd, due to behind-the-scenes interviews with the prop makers noting that they'd used blood pumps.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Selene to Alexander Corvinus, in response to his "Not So Different" Remark.
    Selene: Everything I've done can be laid at YOUR feet - hundreds of thousands have died because of your inability to accept that your sons are monsters, that they CREATE monsters!
  • Cat Fight: Subverted in the second film. Twice. In the span of ten seconds.
  • Cleanup Crew: Alexander Corvinus leads a group of men, appropriately called The Cleaners, who cover up the evidence of Lycans and Vampires. They are all killed by Marcus in Evolution, which is what probably led to humans learning of the existence of Lycans and Vampires in Awakening. The novelization explains that all of them come from special forces all over the world.
  • Confession Deferred: Tannis pretends to know nothing about Victor's keys when asked by Marcus, who drags him across the table after skewering him with his Razor Wings. Tannis' memory suddenly gets better.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Selene versus the two female vamp mooks. 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.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Kraven is rather unceremoniously killed by Marcus right at the beginning of the movie. A rather mundane death for someone who played a major role in the first film.
  • Every Helicopter Is a Huey: Very nearly averted - 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.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Alexander reveals himself to have been the father of the original Marcus Corvinus; still alive after approximately 1600 years.
  • Good Shapeshifting, Evil Shapeshifting:
    • Michael Corvin appears mostly human and even handsome when transformed into his hybrid form, his most inhuman features being grey-blue skin, jet-black eyes, fangs, and claws. Marcus Corvinus, the Big Bad and Monster Progenitor of vampires, exhibits claw-tipped wings and a more monstrous face reminiscent of a bat when he transforms into his newly acquired hybrid form.
    • The modern breed of Lycan is contrasted by William Corvinus, their Monster Progenitor. He lacks most of the beneficial mutations developed by later strains, being much bigger, hairier, and more animalistic than modern Lycans; for good measure, he lacks the ability to return to his human form. And the same goes for anyone he infects, hence why the vampires had him imprisoned in the first place.
  • Gorn: There's a scene in which an exiled vamp is having a threesome. One of his partners bites him. Bleeding just made it hotter.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Selene has a low maintenance bob in the present, as befitting a tomboyish Action Girl. A flashback to when she was human shows her hair being long. Of course, she was human 600 years ago, when most women did have long hair.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Selene rips off one of Marcus's spiked wings and stabs him with it.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Played with with Viktor and Marcus, but it has nothing to do with Viktor hating being a vampire. On the contrary, Marcus's bite saved his life, and now Viktor wants all the power of the coven for himself. He even rewrote the vampire history to make himself appear the progenitor and forbade anyone from trying to find the truth. Marcus's hate for his own immortal father has to do with Alexander refusing to accept his sons as they are. Nobody seems to hate being an immortal despite the drawbacks.
  • Monster Progenitor: William Corvinus is the Progenitor of all Lycans. Marcus Corvinus, his brother, is the progenitor of all Vampires. Unlike other Lycans, William cannot change back to a human. Marcus, 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.
  • Mundane Utility: Needing to cover the windows of the garage he and Selene are sheltering in during the day, Michael uses Partial Transformation to open cans of paint with his claws. For good measure, rather than waste time gathering the necessary supplies from the medicine cabinet, he uses his Lycan strength to rip the entire cabinet off the wall and bring it to Selene.
  • No Ontological Inertia: As the first Vampire, Marcus 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 Viktor believed it enough to not risk it. By the time killing William would have been a viable way to take care of the Lycans, Viktor no longer had the key to his prison, so he had no way of testing the theory.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Alexander Corvinus gives both this and a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Selene when she asks him for help killing Marcus. 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!
  • Oh, Crap!: Selene and Michael when they realize that dawn is on the horizon.
  • Pedal-to-the-Metal Shot: Right after Selene hijacks a truck during her and Michael's escape from Marcus. Extra points for her wearing heeled boots while she does it.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Marcus and William were twin brothers, yet they wound up as different breeds of supernatural creatures. Their viruses interacted 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: During the climax of the movie, Selene gains immunity to UV radiation (and thus sunlight) by drinking Alexander Corvinus's blood and becoming a Vampire-Immortal hybrid.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: To The Princess Bride, when Marcus interrogates Tanis.
    Marcus: Viktor fashioned two keys. What do you know of them?
    Tanis: Keys? I don't know of any keys.
    [Marcus impales him through the shoulders and drags him closer.]
    Tanis: Oh... yes. Yes, those keys.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Played straight with Kraven. He's killed by Marcus almost immediately and forgotten about.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While Selene was already plenty badass, she becomes even more so after taking Alexander Corvinus's blood and becoming a vampire/immortal hybrid. Marcus even notes it.
  • Villains Blend in Better: Although hybridized Marcus couldn't physically blend in anywhere whatsoever, he manages to adapt to his altered body within seconds of waking up, and needs no more than a few slurps from Kraven and his thugs to go from, at best, 19th-century lifestyles to using a computer in perhaps an hour's time. Contrast this with Michael, who couldn't even get through his first night as a hybrid without completely fucking up.

    Underworld: Rise of the Lycans 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Sonja was blonde when we saw her in flashbacks during the first film. Here she is brunette.
  • Anachronism Stew: 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.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Janosh declares that Viktor and his vampires are "no more human than the devils" (referring to William's werewolves). Viktor brags "better the devil you know".
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The overseer Kosta openly mistreats the Lycan slaves, and delights in whipping Lucian after his fall from grace. He's the first one to be killed as part of the Lycans' escape.
    • All the council members are slaughtered when the Lycans storm the castle. Since they unanimously voted for Sonja to be executed for becoming pregnant with Lucian's baby, this is quite the karmic death.
  • Badass Normal: Raze when still human. The first thing he does when confronted with one of the wild and feral Werewolves? Punch the damn thing down.
  • Battle in the Rain: Ensues between Lucian and Sonja on one side and the forces of evil on the other.
  • Call-Back: Evolution showed that vampires can view the memories of whoever they bite (or possibly just elders, since only Marcus does it). Viktor does this to find out Sonja's loyalty.
  • Call-Forward: Tanis is seen gathering scrolls as the lycans storm the castle, calling forward to his status as Mr. Exposition in Evolution.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Sonja delivers one to Viktor regarding his punishing Lucian in spite of the fact that Lucian had just saved her life.
    Sonja: Was it not you who told me that I should show a little gratitude in such instances? And what of yourself? Have you no gratitude to one who rescued your daughter?
  • Demoted to Extra: Luka, Sonja's handmaiden, has a slightly bigger role in the novelization and comic, where she seduces the guards to allow Sonja to visit Lucian, and disapproves of the relationship but keeps quiet due to loyalty to Sonja. In the film, she has only a thirty second scene where she informs Lucian of Sonja's arrest, and earlier appears briefly to comfort Sonja while Lucian is being whipped to give enough of an indicator of who she is.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: A silver mine owner 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.
  • Eatthe Rich: The languid, aristocratic members of the vampire coven attempt to flee the castle as the Lycans overrun the walls, only for two to appear in the main hall and tear them apart. Unsurprisingly, not one of them puts up a fight.
  • Foreshadowing: When talking with Tanis about giving him a council position, Sonja snarks that "we don't die often". Doubles as Tempting Fate, since the entire council gets slaughtered by the lycans in the third act, with Viktor and Tanis being the only survivors.
  • The Ghost: Kraven is conspicuously absent from here, despite being Lucian's cousin. Possibly he was turned later in life.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Viktor again. When Lucian is born, he gets the feeling that he should kill the infant, but doesn't, leading to the following exchange:
    Viktor: I should have crushed you under my heel the day you were born!
    Lucian: Yes, you should have. *stabs Viktor through the mouth* But you didn't.
    • Also, in the backstory, if Viktor had treated the new "Lycan" race with more dignity, as a fellow race of immortals, instead of enslaving them, maybe they wouldn't have revolted, or at least fewer of them would have.
  • I'll Kill You!: Invoked:
    Lucian: (to the vampire elders) I'LL KILL YOU! ALL OF YOU!
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: Sonja is executed for becoming pregnant with Lucian's child.
  • Irony: Lucian abandons his escape plan to rescue Sonja, using the key to remove his Slave Collar so he can transform and defeat the werewolves attacking her. It's this that causes his fall from grace.
  • It Can Think: The first generation Werewolves, unlike the second generation Lycans, are unable to return to human form. Most consider them mindless, feral beasts, but they begin to bide their time, set up ambushes, and even set up crude booby traps like digging pits in the road to trap carriages. After Lucian makes contact with them, he finds they are able to understand orders and work with the Lycans whether or not they are in human form.
  • Love Across Battlelines: Sonja and Lucian. The never-ending feud between vampires and werewolves becomes a full-out war because of Viktor's refusal to accept their relationship.
  • Missing Mom: It's said that Sonja's mother died giving birth to her. Lucian's is seen being killed in the prologue.
  • Monster/Slayer Romance: Sonja, the daughter of the powerful vampire elder Viktor, regularly hunts down and kills feral Lycans despite being in love with Lucien, an enslaved Lycan.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Sonja appears to be the only female death dealer and, besides minor characters like her handmaiden Luka and council member Orsova, the only prominent woman in the story at all.
  • A Taste of the Lash: 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.
  • Token Minority: Raze is the only black character in the whole film. It appears Viktor didn't start turning POC until later.
  • Unexplained Accent: Set during the Middle Ages, with British actors employing The Queen's Latin, and Raze speaks with Kevin Grevioux's American accent, even though said accent wouldn't exist yet.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Viktor says this word for word to Lucian after he kills a werewolf that nearly got into the castle.
  • 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. Apparently Shane Brolly was set to return to play the part of Kraven in the original screenplay. For one reason or another, he was replaced by Tanis.
  • Wire Fu: Sonja employs a lot of this when trying to escape the castle. She leaps out of the dungeon, jumps into the air and backflips while swordfighting, and leaps up a high staircase to continue her duel with Viktor.
  • Worst Aid: Surprisingly justified, as the vampires use silver arrows to put down Lycans. Removing the arrow allows their Healing Factor to kick in long before a normal person would bleed to death.
  • Would Hit a Girl: 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. He also previously struck her when discovering her affair with Lucian.
  • Wrestler of Beasts: The film shows us a human Raze before he was bitten and became a werewolf. The first thing he does when confronted with one of the wild and feral werewolves is punch the damn thing down. Raze later confesses to Lucian that while he was afraid of the werewolves, he wanted to live that much more.
  • Zerg Rush: At the climax, Lucian summons his freed Lycan allies, as well as the Werewolves. All of them. By sunrise, they all but exterminate the coven.
  • Zero-G Spot: A Vampire and a Lycan have gravity-defying sex, hanging off the edge of a cliff.

    Underworld: Awakening 
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the vampires have been trying to hunt the lycans to extinction for hundreds of years by the time of "Underworld". When the humans finally became aware of the existence of the two races, they went of massive purges to get of both species, with the vampires now becoming the prey to humanity's predator, as they did to the lycans. Being so used to high life in mansions and wealth, they were completely unprepared for tsunami of death squad hunters when they were exposed while the lycans were able to thrive from the human purges, ironically pretrained by centuries of merciless persecution from the vampires
  • Back from the Dead: David gets resurrected by Selene after his death in battle.
  • Badass Normal: Detective Sebastian. He may look as if he bought his detective outfit at a Halloween costume store, but when the chips are down he still shoots Lycans with a double-barrel over and under grenade launcher and survives a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Jacob Lane in Lycan form.
  • Bullet Hole Door: Inverted with the bottom of a rapidly descending elevator. The elevator lands on Selene, but the bullets made the floor weak enough (and she's tough enough) that it doesn't particularly bother her.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Eve to Selene, lamenting how she dreamed of this day, only to be met by a cold and distant mother. Selene defends herself by pointing out she just spent 12 years cryogenically frozen, woke up to a world she doesn't know, the only man she loved is gone, and she just discovered a daughter she didn't know she had. She insists her heart isn't cold, it's broken.
  • Car Cushion: A lethal version when Selene drops the scientist after her High-Altitude Interrogation and he crashes onto a car.
  • Censor Steam: Copious amounts get used on Selene as she breaks out of her cryogenic chamber and is lying on the floor naked for at least a minute before she gets up to retrieve her gear. All the while, not a single "naughty bit" was seen.
  • Cryo-Prison: Selene escapes from one in the first act.
  • Demoted to Extra: Michael. In a more literal sense, he isn't even played by Scott Speedman.
  • Dual Wielding: David has a go at it, using Soren's silver razor whip and a throwing blade. Surprisingly, he does pretty well with it, at least until he gets tackled by a lycan.
  • Escaped from the Lab: Selene and her daughter Eve escape from a high-security research facility, with a body count that reminds of Lucy's escape in Elfen Lied.
  • Expy: Thomas 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.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: During her escape from the lab, Selene uses a guard's gun to shoot another guard.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: While Selene is escaping the lab, a scientist orders his troops not to fire on her, in the hopes of following her to "Subject 2". Later, Selene holds him out a window and interrogates him. After he reveals what he knows, he protests, "I was the one who let you go!" She replies, "I guess this makes us even," and lets go of the scientist.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
  • Humans Are Bastards: Subverted when at least part of the anti-monster purge and subsequent genetic research turns out to be a lycan plot. Detective Sebastian is also an exception when he's shown to be sympathetic to non-humans. It's later revealed that while his wife had been turned into a vampire, it didn't stop the fact that they still loved each other until the Feds came around and she elected to step into the sunlight... Contrast the overall trope with...
  • Humans Are Warriors: Almost as soon as humanity at large discovers the existence of vampires and werewolves, they drive both to the brink of extinction. Selene basically spells out that Vampires/Lycans have the options of 'run or die.' Standing and fighting doesn't work because modern humanity has been practically begging for such a foe to unite against. Even the werewolves had to successfully infiltrate humanity and become the ones in charge of the testing, providing negative results for any Lycan 'discovery' to have themselves declared extinct, rather than continue to stand and fight.
  • Ironic Echo: "It's easier if you don't fight it. Trust me." Spoken first by Jacob Lane to Subject 2 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.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Vampires and Lycans are almost universally refered to as "it" by anyone that isn't (openly) one or both of them. Thomas also calls Subject 2 an "it" the first time they meet.

  • Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me: When Selene is fighting the Giant Mook Lycan at the end of the movie, she punches a hole through him and leaves a grenade inside. As he heals instantly, he quips "I heal instantly!". Cue Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Mama Bear: Selene now has a daughter Eve. Selene first meets her daughter when she is awakened by Eve when she damages her cryogenic chamber having been frozen in it for 12 years, carrying Eve to full term while sedated. Though at first Selene seems cold towards her daughter, when Eve's life is threatened by the Lycans/other vampires this mom will go to any length to protect her daughter. Selene is the ultimate mom fighting Lyacans, protecting her daughter, all while trying to figure out Michael's whereabouts. Michael is held in the same Cryogenic lab as Selene and their daughter Eve. Punch Selene, she will think nothing of it; touch Eve and it's your funeral.
  • Mundane Utility: Selene uses her boot knife to as an impromptu key to start and drive a van, and Quint uses the powers of Partial Transformation to transform his 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.
  • Off Bridge, onto Vehicle: Selene escapes the lab by jumping from a window onto a truck that's passing by below.
  • Off with His Head!: David kills a lycan by first stabbing him repeatedly with his silver blade... thingy and then ripping off the guy's head. Made unintentionally funny by how the Lycan's scream doesn't actually get going until after his head has flown off-screen.
  • Oh, Crap!: Yes, even Selene isn't immune to this feeling. Understandable when you run out of ammo while a Lycan is inches away from eating your face. Later, David has this look on his face when his silver shotgun shells don't do squat to Lane in his lycan-hybrid form except for pissing him off. Finally, the Uber-Lycan gets his own moment after Selene shoves a silver grenade into his stomach. Made worse by his pre-mortem Badass Boast.
    Super Lycan: I heal instantly.
    Selene (holding up a grenade pin): I'm counting on it.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • One courtesy of David during the car chase scene with the feral Lycans.
      David: Fucking piece of shit! *stab*
    • Another one by Detective Sebastian when Selene is holding him at gunpoint.
      Sebastian: You wouldn't need a fucking gun to kill me.
    • And a second one to Lane.
      Sebastian: Fuck you!
  • Research, Inc.: Antigen.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Selene, first to search for Michael and later to rescue Eve.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: Apparently, Selene can see through the eyes of her daughter.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Apparently Michael. Although it turns out to be a Disney Death.
  • Take a Third Option: It's revealed that instead of hiding from or dying at the hands of humanity at large in the wake of the Broken Masquerade, the Lycans opted to embed themselves into human society and use non-human prejudice to their advantage against the Vampires.
  • Took a Level in Badass: David goes from a relatively unskilled idealist to a total badass after Selene brings him back from the dead.
  • The Unmasqued World: 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.
  • The Worf Effect: Deliberately used on Selene to show how out of touch she is with the world. When breaking out of the Antigen labs in the beginning, she is stabbed in the shoulder, leaps out a window to land painfully on a truck, is thrown off the truck when the driver hits the brakes, and is then shot in the head by said driver. The Uber-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.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The human doctor that took care of Subject 2 gets a Neck Snap for her troubles, administered by Quint on Lane's order.

    Underworld: Blood Wars 
  • Abnormal Ammo: This feature receives a strange treatment in Blood Wars. The Lycans are shown to still have access to UV ammo, yet when actual combat breaks out, they never use anything but bog-standard bullets against the vampires. The only UV rounds we see in action in the whole movie are fired by a vampire of all things ( Varga uses them to slaughter at least two dozen aspiring Death Dealers and pin the blame on Selene) and later by Marius, which is ineffectual because David is immune to sunlight. In a later blink-and-you-miss-it moment during a Lock-and-Load Montage one can glimpse a Death Dealer who's about to fight Lycans load his gun with UV rounds for... reasons.
  • Aborted Arc: A big part of Awakening's story revolved around humanity's genocidal war of extinction against both vampires and werewolves. Come Blood Wars which appears to take place only a few years later, this conflict doesn't get more than the most fleeting mention. Humans merrily go about their daily business in blissful ignorance and the two supernatural species are back to waging their centuries-old war like they did in the first two movies, and with massive numbers to boot. It's possible that they believe the 'Infection' is over - they believed Lycans to be extinct during Awakening and the Vampires may have gotten smarter about keeping their activities hidden. Selene and David are also immune to sunlight and so can blend in very easily the humans.
  • Affably Evil: Marius for the most part acts calm, collected, and quite friendly even during his interactions with Selene.
  • Agony of the Feet: Selene shoots the Lycan mook Gregor in both feet.
  • And Show It to You: A non-heart example, but in their final battle, Selene rips Marius's freaking spine out of his back with her bare hand. He seems to get barely enough time to glimpse it before dropping dead.
  • Avenging the Villain: Part of Semira's motivation is avenging Viktor, the Big Bad of the original film.
  • Back from the Dead: Selene, naturally. It even comes with yet another major power-up in the form of at least one nifty new ability.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Marius has no qualms about using his own men as Lycan shields against vampire gunfire. This is incredibly callous considering Marius is immune to silver and can quickly heal from being shot, while his men are not immune to silver and die as a result.
    • Semira also has a habit of treating Varga like a mixture of dumb muscle and sex slave despite him being neither. This bites her in the ass later on.
  • BFG: When the lycan army assaults the Eastern Order's compound, they set up a tripod-mounted heavy weapon once the outer defences have been breached. The thing appears to be an automatic belt-fed grenade launcher loaded with UV shells, but everyone expecting an awesome combination of More Dakka and Stuff Blowing Up will be sorely disappointed - they merely use carefully aimed shots to blast holes in the shuttered windows and let the sunlight in.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Marius, the Lycan's leader, and Semira, the ambitious Vampire leader.
  • Bishōnen Line: Marius is the strongest lycan and this is reflected in his transformation, which retains his human face but keeps lycan body proportions otherwise.
  • The Cavalry: During the final battle, Selene returns from the dead with a vengeful Northern Order vampire army in tow, just in time to turn the tide for her species.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The cocooning technique that Lena uses to send nearly deceased vampires to the Sacred Land brings Selene Back from the Dead with a nifty side effect that helps her defeat Marius.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Cassius is a master of this, especially whenever the vampire council is in session.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Is the character a protagonist? If you answered 'No', expect them to backstab someone at least once over the course of the movie. Selene even suffers a literal example at the hands of Alexia.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the climactic battle, the lycans use a heavy grenade launcher to blast open the vampire fortress' shuttered windows and let the sunlight in. That alone qualifies for this trope, but the individual werewolves take it even further by using their superior strength to grab vampires and force them into the deadly beams instead of wasting any more time or ammo on them.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The vampires never field anything heavier than assault rifles loaded with ammunition that's quite effective against soft targets (like transformed werewolves) but possesses abysmal penetrative power. This bites them in the ass when Marius' werewolf alliance assaults the Eastern Order's compound. All it needs is a bunch of guys carrying large bulletproof riot shields to No-Sell everything the defending vampires throw at them. It's so bad that the vampires get curbstomped despite holding the high ground and the werewolves being forced to attack through a tight bottleneck. A single grenade lobbed into their tightly clustered ranks could've stopped the assault dead, but well...
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The vampires frequently suffer these at the hand of the lycans due to their numerical and physical inferiority, lack of experienced warriors, ceaseless infighting, and their Crippling Overspecialization when it comes to weaponry.
  • Daywalking Vampire:
    • What Semira plans to become when she discovers that Selene and David are immune to sunlight. During the near end of the film, she drinks Selene's blood that she had drained from her during Selene's temporary imprisonment, and when she battles David, one of the protective screens on the compound's windows opens and she is bathed in sunlight without any harm. However, she doesn't get to live long enough to enjoy her newfound immunity, as she becomes too distracted in her amazement that David runs his sword through the back of her head.
    • Lena also becomes one when she drinks Selene's blood after reviving her. Somehow, the Nordic Coven are able to walk about during the day with naught but a full coat of armour to protect them, when earlier installments have shown such garb to ineffective protection against the sun's rays.
  • Decapitation Presentation: David presents Marius's severed head to his troops during the climactic battle. The surviving lycans have a look at it, turn around and calmly walk off.
  • The Dragon: Varga to Semira. Surprisingly subverted near the finale when David rightfully claims leadership of the vampires and Varga immediately swears fealty to him instead - he serves the one in charge, no matter who it is. He then actually remains loyal to David for the rest of the movie and even manages to survive the final battle despite several close calls.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Michael is shown to have been captured and bled to death by Marius, who then used the hybrid blood to turn himself into something similar. Selene doesn't take the revelation well.
  • Enemy Mine: Following the events of Underworld and Evolution, Selene is a fugitive from the vampire covens due to her role in the deaths of Viktor and Marcus. Cassius in particular makes no secret of his hatred and disgust for her. However, their utter lack of experienced warriors, coupled with the growing lycan threat and Semira's machinations, soon force them to extend an offer of amnesty to Selene in exchange for her help in training a new generation of Death Dealers. Of course, backstabbing ensues.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: During his duel with Semira, David throws a knife at a shutter control to expose the room to sunlight. Semira, having drunk a considerable amount of Selene's blood, is now immune to sunlight, but she's so distracted by the sight that David is able to walk up behind her and stab her through the head.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: In a stark contrast to the Eastern Coven (who at best depicted as detached and cold and at worst, the epitome of Aristocrats Are Evil), the Nordic Coven is much more friendly. They hide far away from civilization and therefore aren't a threat to mankind, and are actually regarded as "weak" by Semira for their pacifistic ways. When Selene and David arrive seeking sanctuary, they provide a warm welcome and support to the duo.
  • Flash Step: Lena can perform a variation of this. So does Selene once she's Back from the Dead.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Selene in the first few films was rather unconcerned with her appearance, with Boyish Short Hair that was also messy. For the fifth film, her hair is now slightly longer and styled more femininely, especially once she returns from the Northern Order.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Thomas at one point uses a lengthy Latin term for bloodletting. It needs David's perplexed look for him to explain himself in more mundane vocabulary.
  • Grim Up North: Selene and David visit the Nordic Coven in their frozen fortress Var Dhor. Subverted in the usual spirit of this trope, the northern vampires are actually quite peaceful and friendly.
  • Groin Attack: With a sword. From underwater. Poor lycan bastard...
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: During the movie's climax, the Nordic Coven arrives to save the Eastern vampires from Marius's attack and all of them are wearing helmets and armor, except for Lena. Justified since it was used to demonstrate Lena has become a Daywalking Vampire after drinking Selene's blood, as the vampires were fighting during daytime and really needed protection.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Thomas battles Semira and Varga so David will have time to escape with Selene, who's been poisoned and is in no shape to fight.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: It is revealed that Selene, despite 600+ years of loyally defending her coven, is now marked for death for murdering Viktor and Markus. Viktor, on the other hand, is still revered by the Coven despite every single one of his actions being in someway or another responsible for the dire straits the vampires are now in.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Nordic Coven gives off this vibe. Most of the resident vampires have a distinct elf-like look to boot.
  • Karmic Death: Semira dies the exact same way she killed Thomas - by getting a long blade stabbed through her neck.
  • Kick the Dog: Selene just learned that Michael, her lost lover and her daughter's father, was Killed Offscreen by Marius, who then used his blood to turn himself into a quasi-hybrid. Marius mockingly offers her the last phial of blood while quipping that that's everything that remains of Michael. She reaches out to take it, tears in her eyes, only for Marius to pull his hand back and down the phial in one gulp. Cue Heroic BSoD.
  • Left Hanging: The movie ends with Selene, David, and Lena ascending to the rank of vampire elder, a brief shot of Eve (now grown up) reuniting with her mother, and Selene's mandatory ending narration that leaves little doubt about her story being far from over.
  • The Mole: Alexia - loyal Death Dealer at night, Marius's bitch... well, also at night, but somewhere else. When she finally makes her move, her life expectancy is measured in minutes due to Semira having known about her off-hours hobby all along. It ends as well for Alexia as one might expect.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Semira, one of the highest-ranking vampires of the Eastern Order, is played by gorgeous Lara Pulver and doesn't seem to possess clothes without Navel-Deep Neckline at the very least. She wears even less in at least two scenes.
  • Mundane Solution: The Nordic Coven doesn't worry much about lycans because the cold climate doesn't agree with them. The Lycans just show up in winter gear.
  • No-Sell:
    • The aforementioned "useless bullets versus riot shields" battle.
    • A bit later, David and Marius blast away at each other with automatic handguns, emptying entire clips into their opponent's body and head at point-blank range. They don't even flinch under the dozens of impacts.
    • Selene and David are completely immune to sunlight, a fact that shocks both vampires and lycans when they witness it for the first time.
  • Oh, Crap!: Semira's and Varga's reaction when Cassius demands they capture Selene alive. Many vampires also have this look when the Lycans flood the previously darkened battleground with sunlight.
  • One-Hit Kill: David is now strong enough to cleave an entire transformed lycan in two from groin to head with a single sword strike.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Varga is able to best Selene in a cage match by cutting her palm with a nightshade-poisoned blade. This would ordinarily kill a vampire, but Selene's Corvinus-enhanced blood allows her to merely suffer extended paralysis.
  • Precision F-Strike: David is at it again when he sees the lycans are about to open fire with an automatic grenade launcher full of UV shells.
    David: Fuck!
  • Really Royalty Reveal: David is revealed to be descended from a member of the original vampire council, which was kept secret to keep him safe.
  • The Runaway: At some point between Awakenings and this film, Eve runs off for parts unknown, leaving Selene a lock of her hair and a note telling her mother in no uncertain terms to not go searching for her. They reunite in the end.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Michael.
  • The Siege: Several instances of lycan assaulters versus vampire defenders.
  • This Is a Drill: Right in the movie's Action Prologue, David gets shot with a tracking device that is shaped like an oversized drill, has an actual rotating tip, and continues to burrow deeper into his body even while Selene is attempting to remove it.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Part of Selene's and Marius's final battle takes place in a vampire armory with Selene calmly grabbing loaded guns, emptying their clips into Marius, discarding them, and switching to other ones without breaking stride. It doesn't work, but it sure looks cool.
  • Time for Plan B: Once it's made clear to Marius that getting Eve's blood is out of the question, as not even Selene knows her location, he instead has his mole in the vampire coven disable their security system from the inside.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Too many instances to list. It's never been more blatant in the entire series than it is in Blood Wars.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The usual silver for lycans and UV light for vampires, but Blood Wars reveals another one for the vampires: nightshade toxin is mentioned to invade and kill vampiric cells. If the vampire in question is strong enough, they can survive but suffer extended paralysis and agonizing pain.
  • The Worf Effect: Done again to Selene during her first fight with Marius to demonstrate how much of a threat the guy is even to her.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Surprisingly averted. Twice. For the same mook. To elaborate: Only one of the dozen Lycans Marius tasks with capturing Selene, Gregor, returns to deliver her message. Marius is understandably pissed at their failure, but instead of delivering the usual treatment, he merely manhandles the guy a bit before walking off. The same mook then gets a second chance to apprehend Selene, only to be forced to report that she was already gone when the Lycans arrived. Again, Marius lets him live. This valiant mook later charges David and gets swatted away like a fly, but it's quite likely he survived that, which might well put him into Mauve Shirt territory.
    • Subverted between Semira and Alexia; Alexia actually does what is asked of her successfully but has been plotting against the Coven, and Semira kills her for it once her purpose is fulfilled, making this more a case of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.

  • Anachronism Stew: The animated shorts have Selene using semi-automatic 1890. This isn't AS anachronistic as you may think. Many early semiautomatic pistols, such as the Borchard C93 or the Shonberger-Laumann 1892 began production in the 1890s, perhaps the vampires obtained early prototypes. Selene still has apparently infinite ammo though.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Underworld Evolution, Underworld Awakening, Underworld Rise Of The Lycans, Underworld Blood Wars


Convenient Steam

After Selene breaks out of her cryogenic chamber, copious amounts of steam are used to cover her as she lies naked on the floor for at least a minute before she gets up to retrieve her gear.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / CensorSteam

Media sources: