Movie Review: Vampire Academy

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Sarah Hyland, Gabriel Byrne, Danila Kozlovsky, Olga Kurylenko, Cameron Monaghan, Dominic Sherwood, Sami Gayle, Joely Richardson

Directed By: Mark Waters

It might surprise you to know that this mega-flop was directed by the same guy who successfully directed Mean Girls and Freaky Friday, and to a lesser extent Just Like Heaven. Mark Waters knows how to direct comedies directed at young females. I suppose that’s why Vampire Academy failed… because it isn’t a comedy. Waters was out of his depth in the young adult supernatural school genre. Of course, the hand dealt was a weak hand to start with.

I had actually started to read the Vampire Academy book after catching it on sale at Amazon. I couldn’t make it very far. I didn’t think the story was very good, or original enough in a world built by Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. Divergent seemed to figure out how to be different, but Vampire Academy preferred to just combine the world of Harry Potter with vampires. These vampires can even do magic! Oh, and not to be outdone by Twilight, there are good vampires and bad vampires.

Then there’s the cast. Zoey Deutch, actually the daughter of Lea Thompson, is like a poor man’s Ellen Page. She’s snarky, but not confident enough yet in who she is as a person to be believable. She’s acting snarky,  not naturally sarcastic like Page. Lucy Fry, I’ve never seen her in anything before, and I can’t imagine her career taking off. Pretty girl, but not a lot of depth. Sarah Hyland is misused in her role. She should have played Rose, not her nerdy role. We’re used to seeing sassy on Modern Family, not Hyland as a geek. That’s just bizarre.

Somehow, Gabriel Byrne was paid to be in this film amidst a cast of no name actors. It’s not an incredibly bad adaptation, I was surprised at that. It’s fairly faithful to the book (at least what I read of it). I definitely enjoyed it more than City Of Bones, which I thought was almost unwatchable. Still, there’s almost no good reason to see this… unless you read the book. Which is probably why it bombed at the box office.

For every Divergent, there’s a Vampire Academy. Some movies have to bomb so others can become franchises.

FINAL GRADE: C

4 thoughts on “Movie Review: Vampire Academy

  1. I am glad that you decide to read the books. It’s a sign of a great journalist who wants see all the aspects. VA is just about setting up a background.. The actual story starts with frostbite.. As the series goes on, it gets better and better..

    Trust me, Vampire Academy is NOTHING LIKE Twilight or Harry Potter except that it has vampires and a school who teaches magic to Moroi..

    http://nicolahastings.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/twilight-did-not-invent-vampires/#comments

  2. Sorry, but I have to disagree. I thought the film was amazing, and as I have watched it more since I bought it, I’ve grown to love it more. Most people think it’s like Twilight and Harry Potter, but it’s nothing like them. This is based on Romanian folklore. The vampires in Twilight are nothing like the vampires in Vampire Academy. Yes, they have magic, but it’s not exactly the magic you have in Harry Potter. The first book in the series is not nearly as good as the other books in the series, sadly. It just gives you a background to what they are all about. There is every reason to see this movie. People should see it, and decide for themselves if they like it or not.

    As for your comment about “Some movies have to bomb so that others can become franchises”, that’s wrong. I believe that no movie has to bomb so that another can become a franchise. If a movie has to bomb for another to become a franchise, that to me, means that the film itself wasn’t very good if it couldn’t become a franchise without another movie bombing.

    I completely respect your opinion, but I believe you should never tell your readers not to go see a movie just because you didn’t like it. Someone who reads this who could have enjoyed it, won’t watch it because of your words, and that just isn’t fair to any movie out there.

  3. VA is very precious to a lot of people.. it’s really close to our hearts.. Rose showed us to stand up for what we believe in.. She showed us the strength to carry on, even when it seems like the most impossible thing to do.. What’s most beautiful thing about this series is, is that it shows how Rose’s character grows a lot from the first book, where she is a bit childish and more focused on stuff like boys, having fun etc.. As the series goes on.. she learns that love doesn’t happen in one second.. it takes time to grow…

    Here’s a review..

    It’s an unforgivable crime the Vampire Academy series was marketed as a trashy Twilight knockoff. The first book surpasses its more infamous rival despite its many flaws, and this sequel leaves Edward and Bella twinkling distantly in the rear-view mirror. While still far from a polished gem, there is no doubt Frostbite delivers a far more satisfying and engaging story than its predecessor

    http://socialpublishinghouse.com/review-vampire-academy-frostbite/

  4. Hey, dude! We fans of Vampire Academy is happy you enjoyed the movie! Okay, you know I didn’t really like Vampire Academy book from the starting, but when things got so dark and mysterious I had to continue! And the book will always be more enjoyable then movies of course. You seem to be focusing on the bad things, see in the first book, Rose lakes knowledge and she isn’t trained yet and so, she isn’t flexible enough to do certain things but she is pretty feisty in the book if you ask me, xD. She becomes mature and more knowledge-full and fully trained! I think you should give VA a second chance and finish the book and THEN tell us if it was good enough, I’ll tell you… things go pretty freaky after the second book 😉 It’ll make you rip your hair out of your roots lol. Though, you won’t find much humor then…

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