Title: Vampire Academy (Official site)
Tag Line: They suck at school
Release Date: 07 February 2014
Runtime: 104 min
Genres: Action | Fantasy | Comedy | Mystery
Series or Standalone: Series
Where Seen: Theater (screening)
Production Company: Reliance Entertainment
Distributed By: Weinstein Company
Director(s): Mark Waters
Writer(s): Richelle Mead (novel), Daniel Waters (screenplay)
Stars: Zoey Deutch (Rose Hathaway), Lucy Fry (Lissa Dragomir), Danila Kozlovsky (Dimitri Belikov), Gabriel Byrne (Victor Dashkov), Dominic Sherwood (Christian Ozera), Sarah Hyland (Natalie Dashkov), Sami Gayle (Mia Rinaldi), Cameron Monaghan (Mason), and Olga Kurylenko (Headmistress Kirova)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Vampire Academy is a series of books that I absolutely adore. In a time when the market was flooded with vampire stories Vampire Academy stood out as the world is self-contained and doesn’t involve humans. There is no love story between a centuries old vampire and a human and that makes it a refreshing change from most vampire books out there. When I learned that there would be a movie based on the books I was both thrilled and wary as we all know what horrible things Hollywood can do to the books we love. Then when I saw the first trailers I was even more wary as the marketing sucked. All the trailers made it seem like this campy, tongue-in-cheek comedy and didn’t seem to have anything to do with the books that I loved. The only thing that gave me a little bit of hope was that Richelle Mead, the author of the books, had made statements saying how happy she was with the finished product. But even with those assurances I may have waited until this movie was available on Red Box before trying it out.
So when the opportunity came up to see a screening of Vampire Academy I grabbed two of my good friends and dashed off to see it. We were all fans of the book so we could all compare notes and memories to see how this page to screen adaptation unfolded. In the end, we were all very pleased with the final product. In fact, my main complaint is that it was too short and I wish there was more and I base this on run time only. For when you are sitting in the theatre it feels right. The plot of Vampire Academy was also very true to the books. There were little elements added in and some that were removed but nothing so major that leaves fans of the story wondering what the writers were thinking or if they’d even read the books. The pacing was well done and even though I wish it had been longer it never felt rushed or slow. The writers also did a great job of introducing all the main players as well as the mythology of this vampire world.
Zoey Deutch was a perfect Rose in my book. She was strong and sassy and just nailed all her lines as well as the action scenes. The rest of the supporting cast also excelled in all their roles as well. Everyone cast fit into that image that I had about them when I read the books. The only disappointments were with Lucy Fry who fell a little flat for me and there was just something about her that I just never fully connected with. I also felt that Cameron Monaghan was super underutilized as Mason and if you don’t know the books then you don’t know just how close a friendship that he and Rose have. Danila Kozlovsky and Dominic Sherwood both sizzle in their roles as Dimitri and Chritian, respectively. Kozlovsky and Deutch have a lot of chemistry on screen and it just plays in so well to part of their story ARC. Sarah Hyland as Natalie was a surprise hit and I loved what she brought to the role. Although it was hard to seperate her from her Modern Family alter ego, Haley, and I kept expecting more sarcasm and less bubbly.
I really enjoyed this movie and I was so glad that I decided to see it in the theatres. This is one that I know I’ll watch again at some point and it left me with a burning desire to go back and re-read the series all over again. I also loved the soundtrack of the film and found myself downloading it onto my iPod not long after getting home from the theatre. Vampire Academy was very well done and I think that everyone should go see it. Don’t be fooled by the horrible marketing! If you liked the books then you will like this movie.
My Recommendation: If you are a fan of the books or just like good movies then you’ll want to catch this one in the theatre.