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Vampire Academy

By: Addison WylieVAposter

Movie goers will always remember the big boom of modern vampires and their iffy lore.  Some appreciated what Twilight executed with their movement, while others wished the movement had been executed altogether.

That said, I believe we can all agree that fantasies about brooding creatures of the night have had their time in the spotlight and are now starting to peter away slowly.  It was like witnessing an out-of-control party scamper off into the streets never to be seen again.

Vampire Academy is that one person you all dislike.  That one person who wants that liveliness to rage on.  They were “fashionably late” and now they won’t leave your house.  And, their only purpose is to remind you of what was “hot”.

This meandering teen flick adapted from Richelle Mead’s popular book series is an absolute puzzle in a few ways.

First of all, it’s hard to fathom how this current cut found its way into movie theatres.  Mark Waters’ film has the look and feel of a television show pilot trying to give audiences the broad strokes of important plot points and arcs in Mead’s work.   Even the emotional tones of the movie resemble dated sci-fi fare you may channel surf past on preteen networks.

Every hint about the movie’s atmosphere is clumsy.  Since the students at St. Vladimir’s Academy attend class at night, the audience get scenes with stagey lighting splashed across walls from moonlit windows and obvious shadows cast down hallways.  The fights have the same type of sloppy set-ups, with the camera being stationed way too close to cover up how simple and mundane the choreography is.

The fumbling of the fight scenes is a peculiar failure because Vampire Academy seems to be a movie that was developed based on looks.  That would explain the casting at least.

From the word “go”, Waters’ attractive lead actresses (Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry) have trouble reacting to a bad dream they both have.  I won’t go into details about why they have the same dream, because it would lead us down an incomprehensible rabbit hole of spacey pacing and invisible interest.

Anyways, they have the dream and look absolutely devoid of emotion.  One could possibly say that because these two are vampires, they lack any real connection to human feeling.  However, Fry has no problem recognizing the pros to popularity and the elation of having a boyfriend, while Deutch’s precocious attitude shows that she comprehends sarcasm.

Everyone in the film is a pretty actor who has been made up or dressed in a way that calls on the audience to focus on the film at face value.  The only exception could be an aging Gabriel Byrne, but even he shows later on in the movie why he belongs with the good-looking folks.

Deutch’s performance is especially unappreciative.  As the film’s hero, we want to figure out the movie’s primary mystery out with her.  Instead, we can’t figure out why she’s dead-set on becoming a hybrid of Ellen Page’s screen presence and Sarah Silverman’s line delivery.

With the film trying to resemble so many other things along with the cheap production values, Vampire Academy comes off as another spoof movie of the popular vampire movement.  With Daniel Waters’ wishy-washy screenplay and Mark Waters’ thoughtless direction, it might as well be.

In the screening I was in, there were walk-outs, and people generally growing more disinterested with the movie.  There were, however, movie goers giving in to the camp with unintentional laughter.  It’s hard not to, when a scene of sensuality is abruptly edited, and many undertones of lesbianism between Deutch and Fry are milked.

I suppose this could’ve been our Showgirls, but that would’ve meant the film had elements of audacious curiosity and ridiculousness, along with full-blown confidence behind the production.  Vampire Academy has none of the above and is only here to make a quick buck off of what little excitement is left after the Twilight tornado.

**********

This review of Vampire Academy also appears on MrWillWong.com

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  1. Over Critic Bullcrap
    February 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

    You have obviously never read the books and went into this movie thinking it was going to be bad because it had the word “Vampire” in the title. This is nothing like Twilight, it is the furthest thing from Twilight and the fans of Vampire Academy are sick of it being compared to Twilight.

    You want to compare it then watch Twilight, look at Edward climbing a tree with Bella on his back and tell me that Vampire Academy’s scenes are worse than that.

    Just because people walked out doesn’t mean crap either, all you critics look for is the same old boring stuff that wins Academy Awards over and over again. Look at movies like Pitch Perfect and Now You See Me. They were given crap critic reviews and look how well they did.

    How about you get people who have actually read the books to go in and write a critics review because no one is going to be harder on this movie than the fans. At least then there wont be prejudice against it.

  2. eve
    February 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I wonder proque going to watch a movie in their heads when the fucking idea that will be the next Twilight, and while you know Zoey criticizes other blog that the fans are not worshiping. So your review I get for the half and half

  3. Rick
    February 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Saw this movie on Feb. 7 as a free pre-screen. BORING, stupid plots and one does not have to read the books to make the statements that I do. Mostly yapping between characters and funny thing about Gabriel Byrne getting first billing in the credits? He barely has a part in this trash and most of these other actors failed at their parts too.

    I laughed about you advising that people who read the books should see the movie and then offer their critique of it BECAUSE they read those books? Stephen King has awesome books, when they get made into movies, not so good and one ironically has little to do with the other’s results or critical reviews. See: The Shining and read about what little input King was allowed and how he was against much of what Kubrick did.

    I get it, some people get easily offended if some slay such a movie but this one stunk! In my own city and my review of it, I mentioned that “depending on how long the movie houses have committed to it, it should be a swift ride to the discount theaters” and then maybe they’ll think long and hard about doing any sequels no matter how many books out there were successful.

    *People walk out because movies are boring, action sequences are lacking, well, action, or they figure the creators of said movie think of them as fools to show such dreck. The most entertaining moments in our theater were the sounds of people checking their smartphones for the time (often), even better were the action sounds from them eating their snacks. For well-made movies with suspense, plot etc., people are mesmerized to the screen and few even pull out their phones-this one had people ready to commit their own version of suicide so kudos to those who restrained themselves and just left.

  4. Ella
    February 8, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Have you actually watched the movie? I’m just wondering because Vampire Academy is nothing like Twilight. And it’s funny what you say because all I hear is how great Zoey Deutch was and now you come in and say she’s bad basically because she’s pretty…what a waste of time reading this.

  5. Allison
    February 8, 2014 at 5:46 am

    I have read all of the books and am a major fan of the series!!! I totally agree with this critics review. It did not do the series any justice at all!!! The actor were horrible and they made the movie into a bad comedy which is nothing like the books! I am very disappointed in Mead even agreeing to this movie because it made her books loose some integrity! The series is better than twilight but based off if the movie u can’t tell! This should not have been a comedy and they should of found actors who can actually act! This movie will be made fun of for years to come and it’s too bad because the series is Amazing!!!!

  6. Nina
    February 8, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I’m a fan of Vampire Academy, I have been since the third book came out and I hate to break it to everyone but the movie was a big disappointment next to the Mortal Instruments and Beautiful Creatures.

    When I saw the trailers and short movie clips months before, I’ll admit I was discourage to go see it but my friends convince me to keep an open mind. We even agree to go see the day it premiers, so we went today. Not only was there bad acting here and there, but some scenes were rushed or too faked. It makes Twilight look like a piece of art and I’m not even a fan of that series.

    I overlooked some of the changes made on the adaptation because I know it’s necessary to translate to the film, but there were some scenes that would have been better off kept original to the book. *SPOILERS* For example, the scene where Dimitri was suppose to fight for Rose to stay in the academy sucked. He barely even spoke, Kirova didn’t bother to challenge him, and Rose didn’t make a scene or fumed. Alberta and Stan were never introduced which is ridiculous because their roles have an important presence on the series. Instead they introduce irrevalant characters like that female Guardian who’s always with Dimitri, Mia’s gay friend, and Ray. Who in the world is Ray? Ralf is supposed to be Jesse’s BFF. Lissa, Christian, and Natalie were so out of character I didn’t know what to make of them. Then, there was the letter Rose received from mom saying that she was proud of her. That ruins the tension Rose and Janine are supposed to have on the second film.

    Now you can understand why I was disappointed.

  7. Larissa
    February 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    This movie was a disaster from the get go. Deutch was horrible-and any critic that says otherwise is paying lip service to her parents (whom most mention in their review). If there had been a different director/writer and an actress in the lead role with talent, this movie would have banked. As it is, there were only a handful of people in the theater with my sister and me (one of whom left complaining about how crap it was) , and according to my cousin who manages the theater it only got worse from there.

  8. Mika
    February 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I agree with this critic review. The movie was a disaster. There was no depth or chemistry between characters. The plot was choppy, cheesy, and frankily, I felt embarrased to have asked my boyfriend and friends to come see the movie with me after assuring them it would be the best adaptation. Not even half way through the movie did I wanted to leave but I stay hoping it would get better. It never did. Now I’m nervous about the sequel. I don’t want it ruined.

  9. Lilly
    February 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    This movie is great! Everyone needs to knock it off with bashing this movie. Everything was perfect. You guys just don’t like it because its a new and fresh idea its not the same cookie cutter crap that usually is out and about. This movie Is perfect and needs to be seen. It is worth seeing. This is a great story give it a chance because its good and funny and very relatable with the friend interactions, Go SEE this movie you wont be sorry

  1. February 23, 2014 at 1:02 am

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