director: Mark Waters
writer: Daniel Waters
starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky and Gabriel Byrne
genre: Horror | Romance | Teen
released: February 7, 2014 (U.S.), February 13, 2014, March 13, 2014 (Germany)
based on the novel: "Vampire Academy" by Richelle Mead
Seeing this film was an experience so unbearable that the melodrama of the "Twilight" films suddenly felt soothing in hindsight. Simply because one book adaptation after the other, makes you understand that audiences should like to drown in their characters drama and soak into the fantasy world gradually. Instead of hastily rushing into the petty details of one's world and of its incompatible happening's. Culminating in a film with an obsessive compulsion disorder to be unwatchable, tedious, over informative and a prime candidate to be the worst film of the year.
Two girls from different Vampire tribes are forced back into the Vampire Academy after a dangerous attack on them. At the Academy they will have to find out what was the reason behind the attack, but also survive the teenage vampire experience of gossip, love, rules and studying.
From the film's very first moment, it doesn't waste any time in introducing its complicated back-story and rules of the game. Sadly this is done in a fast forward like fashion of dolling out the information, as if the film was constantly pressed for time. Making it lack any normal story progression and be constantly heavy in exposition, narration, historical details and intricacies of this so called "unique" vampire world. Which only results in not remembering much of anything about this new vampire mythos, because of the over flow of information that we are bombarded with.
Due to this bombardment, their is no gradually descent into this vampire world and its easy afterwards to lose yourself in it. It's also not helped by having interjected with the bombardment an odd number of terribly choreographed action scenes, that provide no suspense or intrigue and moments of romance that could be considered worse than some of the material used on the series "The Secret Life of the American Teenager".
Inherently this is caused by the laziness of the production to not allow its screenwriter and a bit less of its filmmaker to make the story cohesive, coherent and have a natural flow to it from start to finish. Having new manner of telling a story with bookmarked entries of information on the world at large, before the audience ever gets the chance to understand who the characters are, what they want to become and what is means for them to get there in the cooky world they live in. Because we never understand the point to their world and the social roles they encompass in it.
The amount of information that is thrown at us is mind boggling at times. As a hour and half film, there is not enough time to sink into the thick of it, like a TV show that can or a properly scripted film. A great example of this poor attempt at a new movie universe. Is imagine if you couldn't understand in the first Harry Potter film the major differences between Grifindor and Slytherin or the deep brotherly connection between Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon in the Game of Thrones TV series. These are some of the most gruesome mistakes this film makes. Not aware on how to make its world history interesting, characters important to us and also in a timely fashion.
Furthermore, the film isn't helped by its very bland acting. Which I honestly don't think the actors are all to blame in this. Because who wouldn't have a natural lack of inspiration with a film such as this. Its a challenge to act in a boarding school environment of Vampires and play it to the effect of a normal high school environment. Which naturally makes no sense and who could also possibly relate to vampires in boarding schools, fighting other weird vamp tribes in the midst of vampire royalty?
Finally right up there with the acting is the film's dialogue and the defined roles the actors have to play. Making the characters feel like terrible cliches and stereotypes. Good examples of this in the film are the tough girl who falls for the action knowledgeable instructor, the other girl falling for the non mainstream hottie and all the adults playing more or less a role of either the mentor or the suspicious co-conspirator and the overly disciplined official. Highly original material..
This film is a failure on many accounts, from a marketing angle of being late to the party of the vampire fad, to not being a true high school film such as "Struck by Lightning" or "the Moth Diaries" and being the worst example how to tell an interesting and comprehensive story. All this from people in the movie business who've actually made a decent film before. For shame!