Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

The idea of fusing teen sex-comedy and horror genres into a boffo box-office bonanza seems like classic braindead Hollywood-think... but somehow, beyond all reason, the makers of this film manage to pull it off. Much of the credit goes to director Fran Rubel Kuzui (Tokyo Pop) who chooses wisely to let the jokes and action rip by so quickly that viewers won't have time to realize there's practically nothing going on. Also excellent is Kristy Swanson as the bubble-headed cheerleader who learns from a Van Helsing-ish stranger (Donald Sutherland) that she's, like, the reincarnation of this pure female warrior and stuff, destined to rid the world -- or at least the Valley -- of vampires. No sooner is the Buffster being schooled in the ways of vampire butt-kicking (much to the consternation of meek pretty-boy beau Luke Perry) than the lead vampire (Rutger Hauer) and his leering cronies show up -- and leading up the pack is none other than Pee-Wee Herman himself, Paul Reubens. Fans of this film's popular TV offspring will appreciate the fang-sharp humor but may be surprised to find little evidence of the spooky atmosphere that permeates the series -- though there are some inspired moments, particularly the ridiculous death-by-ruler scene.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Joss Whedon
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 4, 2001
20th Century Fox


Hilary Swank
as Kimberly
Sasha Jenson
as Grueller
Stephen Root
as Gary Murray
Candy Clark
as Buffy's Mom
James Paradise
as Buffy's Dad
Liz Smith
as Reporter
Paul M. Lane
as Robert Berman
Toby Holguin
as Vampire Fan
Eurlyne Epper
as Graveyard Woman
Paul Lane
as Robert Berman
Andre Warren
as Newscaster
Rick Logan
as Bloody Student
Erika Dittner
as Cheerleader
J.C. Cole
as Biker
Tony Maxwell
as Student
Tarra Greenhut
as Female Student
Michael S. Kopelow
as Timid Student
Jaime Seibert
as Deep Student
Ricky Dean Logan
as Bloody Student
Robert Anthony Hayne...
as Unidentified Schoolb...
Ricki Lake
as Charlotte (uncredite...
Amanda Anka
as Vampire
Ben Affleck
as Basketball Player
Chino Binamo
as Vampire
Al Goto
as Vampire
Mike Johnson
as Vampire
Chi-Muoi Lo
as Vampire
Kenny Sacha
as Vampire
Ben R. Scott
as Vampire
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Critic Reviews for Buffy the Vampire Slayer

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7)

Joss Whedon's script has some fun with Valley talk (both genuine and ersatz) but strains to sell the story.

Full Review… | October 15, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A bloodless comic resurrection of the undead that goes serious just when it should get wild and woolly.

Full Review… | October 15, 2007
Top Critic

Unfocused stuff, pitched at undemanding teenagers.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A slight, good-humored film that's a lot more painless than might have been expected.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

As a friend tells Buffy while she eyes a fashion purchase, 'It's so five minutes ago.'

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

The second half feels stretched out and muddled, as if screenwriter Joss Whedon drove a stake through his script.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It's amazing how we now have two interpretations of the same material and can look back at how phenomenal the TV show and awful the movie still are. BtVS the film covers the same material as the show about a popular, superficial cheerleader who is chosen to defend the world against vampires. But its attempts at tongue in cheek humour are way too forced. The vampires' make up and costumes are cringe-worthy bad. Even the sound is terrible as some scenes have a noticeable echo in the dialogue despite the characters being in a car with the windows rolled up. No actor seems connected to the material. It was clearly a paycheck for Donald Sutherland and Luke Perry where Kristy Swanson and her co-stars seem happy that they're in a movie. The themes of an ordinary girl changing under extraordinary circumstances or the metaphor of the vampires as symbolic of teenage anxieties are there but left unexplored. There is nothing good about the BtVS film and anyone curious about it should stay far away less it taint their perception of the TV series.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

Have upped my original rating a star. This was actually a bad movie, but it is so kitschy and 90's I found I really quite enjoyed seeing it again.
It is, of course, a silly little movie and best treated as nothing to do with the excellent tv series. Good fun, though.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an average horror comedy that is purely designed to be fun and entertaining. Though flawed, and not perfect, the film manages to be quite amusing. However the film is no where close to the TV series, which was darker, better executed and acted. Not saying that this film is bad, but this film has a lot of room for improvement. There are plenty of comedic moments here and there, and the cast are good, but not great. As far as a horror comedy is concerned, Buffy the Vampire Slayer works well enough to entertain, but leaves a lot to be desired. The film is lots of fun, and manages to be effective at being a good vampire flick; however the film is not as memorable as say, The Lost Boys or Fright Night. For what it is, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a cool, little gem of a film, with nothing that's ever spectacular. But I will say this; this is definitely not a bad film. The film can easily be seen as a guilty pleasure, as it's not perfect, but it does manage to be amusing. I thought that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a good film, nothing exceptionally great. In the end, this is a silly horror comedy that is fun, despite the fact that it's never anything remarkable. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an entertaining but flawed film, and it's not as bad as everyone says it is. If you enjoy a mindless vampire comedy, this is a film to check out.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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