Vampire Academy |2014 | Dir. Mark Waters | 1 hour 44 minutes | The Weinstein Company
Vampire Academy really set themselves up for those suck puns.
Based on Richelle Mead’s young adult series, Vampire Academy rode the wave of Twilight fanfiction to theaters in 2014. Isn’t everything Twilight fanfiction? The kids will be studying Stephanie Meyer alongside Jane Austen and William Shakespeare at this rate.
Mead’s incarnation divides the nosferatu into three races: Moroi, the Cullen brand of “nice” vampires; Dhampir, half- blood lapdogs who gaurd the Moroi; and Strogoi, the evil bloodsucking type. The vampire world operates under a monarchy, and Lissa (Lucy Fry) is the last of her line. Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutsch) protects Lissa.
Lissa’s parents die in a car crash. She and Rose flee Vampire Academy and take refuge in Portland. Their world shatters when a bunch of Strogoi attack. They return to Vampire Academy where they uncover a plot to destroy Lissa.
Vampire Academy has the pacing of a pinball machine. It’s like talking to a teenage girl with ADHD. You never know when a scene is legit, or when it’s a flashback/dream/love charm induced fantasy. There’s one part where Dimitri literally rips off Rose’s dress and burns it. Thirty seconds later they’re in a car racing to save Lissa’s life. I especially loved the bloodcurdling shriek in the mall, which had absolutely nothing to do with anything.
Vampire Academy also has an outrageous script delivered by actors who definitely aced their high school drama classes. I actually found Zoey Deutch, who plays Rose, delightful. She has a very Alex Borstein vibe. Her whip smarts, street smarts, and great timing kept me watching.
Rose fancies Dimitri, played by the seriously hunky Danila Kozlovsky. Lucy Fry plays a mermaid in Australia and probably makes a better mermaid than vampire. She has a parade of identical British suiters; none of them stand out.
I still can’t believe that the Weinstein company spent $30 million on this nonsensical claptrap. Vampire Academy has about zero special effects. Rose wears some amber contacts when she reads Lissa’s mind and there are some very jenky- looking wolves on screen for about thirty seconds, so where did all the money go? Did they spend it on flattering but hideously boring costumes and aerial shots of Montana?
I also can’t believe the producers opted for a movie over an ABC Family series here. The whole thing plays like a giant episode. Sometimes, not even the first episode. The cliffhanger ending feels like a totally contrived plea for sequels. We know you could only afford one!! Still, there is something uniquely ridiculous about Vampire Academy. It’s like The Vampire Diaries sucked the blood of an Olsen Twins movie and went shopping at Anne Taylor. Not gonna say I regret it.
Note: In my image searching, I discovered a bunch of fan art featuring Sophia Bush/ Brooke Taylor as Rose and Taylor Kitsch/ Tim Riggins as Dimitri. To which I say, well done! They did their best guys. Here’s a picture of Zoey Deutch smooching the Russian guy. Too cute.