Thanks to the I’m With Geek connections, an opportunity to grab my plus one and head to a glorious cinema for a Vampire Academy screening shone down on me. Not only did I have an excuse for a date but I also discovered a cinema that I had never been to before; Showcase Cinemas which I recommend entirely. Even though I am a bookworm by profession, I must confess, I’d never read this series and was relying on the cinematic version to introduce me to the hallowed halls of the Vampire Academy. And I wasn’t the only one, with the audience filled with adults and teenagers alike ready to sink their teeth into it.
There seems to be an abundance of books to films based on vampires and it largely follows the Twilight suite (I am partially unashamed of my middling level of fandom.) Vampire Academy could be the most teen one of them all. If you thought prior vamped up romps were as tween as you can get, then prepare for the worst of them.
The plot sets off at a confusing pace. Flitting between flashbacks and present day, they swing between the girls stint at runaways (where they had more fun) and their present time in the school. After being caught and sent back, the confusion rapidly settles into a predictable plot. With Rose being the lead character, it’s safe to assume that she’ll have to save Lissa, hopefully ending all of her confusion and self-denial like any other High School Student drama. It’s yawn inducing as she makes her way through it alive.
The film is full of countless references (and not those that I made up such as ‘ugly Elijah; and ‘awkward Edward Cullen’.) But it is clear that the biggest resemblance is Harry Potter. The impression of the grand school is very Hogwarts, casting spells and using dark magic trisk and threats. It’s almost as though Harry walked straight into The Craft.
Add that to a mixture of terrible teen gigging and humour, horrible CGI werewolves that looked like furry, square, strong magical dogs which was highly disappointing and the concept of making the vampires not just blood suckers but magical creatures who did not sit well. It all summed up to a poor film.
There was a lack of freshness to this movie. It was all the elements from before, mixed up in different proportions and with a sloppy order. It seemed like a bizarre soup with everything in it. Perhaps genuinely enjoyable for dedicated fans of the book series or young ones starting their journey into the young-adult genre. But it fails to satisfy.
And on a final note, it’s no good for dates. Especially first ones. I say this as the male companion beside me, looked into my eyes and said, rather concisely; "never, again!"