When Underworld first debuted in 2003, it had all the makings of a cult classic. The idea of pitting vampires against werewolves was a novel one, especially since both creatures were staples of the horror genre. Director Len Wiseman, alongside Danny McBride and Kevin Grevioux, built out a mythology that was enough to sustain five films alongside an animated anthology and a handful of comic books. Anchoring the entire enterprise was Kate Beckinsale, whose compelling performance as the vampire Selene places her among Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley in terms of enduring action heroines.
One element above all else makes Underworld a standout in the realm of action-horror films: The romance between Selene and Michael.