Vampire Academy is a 2014 American satirical fantasy adventure film based on the 2007 best-selling novel of the same name by Richelle Mead, directed by Mark Waters, with a script done by Daniel Waters. Mark Waters is other-wise known for directing Freaky Friday and Mr. Popper’s Penguines. Some might be intrigued to find out that he is apparently working on a film adaptation of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. The film stars Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky, and Lucy Fry in the lead roles.
I never expected anything at all from this film. I know that they say if you watch a film expecting for it to be bad, then you’ll usually get your wish, but this film looked absolutely terrible. The only reason that I decided to watch the film is because my aunt bought it on DVD and I decided to watch it with her. She is also the exact reason why I watched Endless Love, for those wondering. Nevertheless, as always with these films, I expect nothing more than likely actors and actresses carrying the concepts.
The film received negative reviews from critics and audience-members alike, and failed at making even half its budget in the box-office. Rightfully considered as a box-office flop, you might assume that a sequel is completely out of the question. Surprisingly though, a kick-starter campaign has actually been started and if they can raise up the money, they’ll be able to finance a second installment.
The story follows a Dhampir guardian-in-training named Rose Hathaway. Basically, in this film, half-human vampires are meant as the sworn protectors of full-bloods, and so, Rose looks after her best friend Lissa Dragomir living discreetly in the world after escaping from St. Vladimir’s Academy two years prior. They are brought back to the Academy and discover that there are lies, rumors and secrets hiding beneath every nook and cranny. Filled with some oddly bizarre and confusing sequences, the film basically combines various different subplots into one narrative.
Vampire Academy doesn’t spend too much time establishing its themes, or answering some of the lingering questions that I had throughout the film. The backstory feels absolutely redundant for what it is. The film seems like a parody or satirical introspective on films such as Twilight, but it has some of the same lingering problems. In-fact, it feels remarkably similar to a lot of other films in-terms of calamity, and so, it feels more like another rip-off than it does like something meant to be taken as satirical.
I never felt any sort of interest in the story of the film. There wasn’t a lot of humor to be found in it. I didn’t really laugh, but at times, I was charmed by some of the characters. I say some of the characters as if it’s plural, but I am only talking about Zoey Deutch. Critics have referred to her performance as being a blatant and utter rip-off of Ellen Page’s performance as the titular character in Juno. I can definitely see that, at least in some extent. Juno isn’t the first film to have a sarcastic and smart-ass brunette, but there is definitely a similar conduct to how she tackles certain students.
I still think that she was the only enjoyable thing about this film. I liked her charm, and while almost all of the humor in this film was lame, at least she offered some likeability and personality to a bland film. Everybody else channeled nails on a chalkboard for most times, Lucy Fry in-particular bothered me in this film. I don’t know whether or not it’s a problem with her acting, or the character, or both. I do know that the random character transitions she made throughout the film were bizarrely confusing and incredibly stupid. On all-accounts, that character could have done better.
In conclusion, any type of merit in cinematography, special-effects, or musical score went completely unnoticed. Instead, what remained as a constant variable for me were the heavy doses of boredom that balloon this film as larger than its reach. The characters are too elaborate, the humor doesn’t work, and nothing really clicks in the way that it should have.
The worst part of this is the fact that I know I’ll watch the sequel. I’m an enabler.