FINAL THOUGHTS: Vampire Academy

VAMPIRE ACADEMY is the most-recent attempt at recreating the success of TWILIGHT (and to a lesser extent, HARRY POTTER) on the big screen. It’s the act of taking a “hit” teen book and adapting it to film. Thus far, the only novel to successfully recreate TWILIGHT’s success has been THE HUNGER GAMES (though the upcoming DIVERGENT has a strong shot at succeeding, too). Unfortunately for the producers of VAMPIRE ACADEMY, the film was an absolute box office flop. Rightfully so, too.

VA1Here’s the synopsis (try to keep me with on this): Rose (Zoey Deutch) is a Dhampir — that’s fancy-talk for a half-human, half-vampire (even though she really shows zero traits of being half-vampire). She’s a guardian to Lissa (Lucy Fry), a Moroi — fancy-talk for a friendly vampire. Why a vampire would need the protection of someone who’s only half-vampire, I’ll never really understand. Together, they attend the Vampire Academy; a school that trains and teaches Dhampirs to help protect all the happy-go-lucky vampires from the Strigoi (A.K.A. unfriendly vampires). Have I lost you yet?

The film’s plot is absolutely silly; a shame because some of the young actors do show promise. I feel like Hollywood is just getting desperate now because I have this strong feeling that the book that this film is adapted from is no better.

VAMPIRE ACADEMY is just endless teenage chatter; like a really, really bad made-for-the-CW television movie. They’ll be some generic “girl talk” followed by a generic fight sequence followed by some more generic chit-chat and, well, you get the idea. It was an hour and a half of cringe-worthy, mind-numbing cinema.

I understand that I’m most-likely not the targeted audience for this film, but I was willing to give it a try because I like it when creators try something new with the vampire genre. This, however, was just lazy filmmaking. The cinematography and editing were probably the worst part of it all. Scenes and shots were cut together in the most disgraceful way possible. I shook my head in disappointment with nearly every transition on the screen. The film improved near the end, but the first half was nearly unwatchable.

Can I say anything positive about VAMPIRE ACADEMY? Honestly, I really don’t think so. The coolest part of the entire film was the stylish V.A. logo that was designed for it. As I stated earlier, some of the young stars in the film show promise for a bright future. Deutch has a certain wit about her and she definitely has the looks to continue on in the industry. Fry in a lot of ways reminded me of young Rhona Mitra; one of my favourite British actresses. With better direction and a better script, these two actresses could go somewhere one day. Then there’s Gabriel Byrne, an actor that I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated. While it was great seeing him on the big screen again, he couldn’t even save the film.

As someone who aspires to one day be a filmmaker, I hate to sit around bad-mouthing a film that someone put together. Who knows, the filmmakers (in this case, director Mark Waters and screenwriter Daniel Waters) may’ve been incredibly passionate about this project and tried their absolute best on it. If that’s the case, I feel bad for them because VAMPIRE ACADEMY was a complete failure in every sense possible.

~K

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Final Thoughts are an opinion, not a review. I don’t believe that anyone should base their own opinion on that of another person. Reviewers and critics are just regular people like everyone else and their opinion shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all. What you just read were my Final Thoughts of VAMPIRE ACADEMY. I hope you share yours.

About the author

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | Ken loves film -- whether it's collecting them or making them. He's a massive fan of creature features and giant monster flicks and hopes to create one himself one day. He also obsessively collects ThunderCats, King Kong, Pacific Rim and The Last of Us memorabilia.