Friday, February 7, 2014

Review: Vampire Academy

Release date: February 7, 2014
Running time: 104 minutes
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Gabriel Byrne, Dominic Sherwood
Who to see it with: The most rabid of Twilight fans


Studios are trying to fill the giant, blood-sucking, twinkling hole that Twilight left, and Vampire Academy is the latest attempt to appeal to the teen movie demographic. Unfortunately, it is a poor substitute for those looking for a vampire fix. Vampire Academy follows a group of vampires and half-vampires who are training at a specially designed school. They're all in the equivalent of high school, and are dealing with what you would expect teenagers to deal with. School, boys / girls, hormones, fitting in, cliques; it's all present in the Vampire Academy. Additionally, there is a certain level of class inequality thrown in and a pinch of inappropriate relationships to mix together in your teenage, hormone stew. It's like you're back in high school, a pretty sweet high school, but still high school.

The Twilight movies never had a great plot; they were filled with bad dialog, teenage angst, sex references, and terrible CG. Vampire Academy follows this formula to a T. The plot is disjointed, shallow, and predictable. Because there's a lot of back story to get through, the first 15 minutes or so are pure exposition to introduce the viewer to the world. Afterwards, the drama begins. Poor dialog, overacting, odd accents, and crazy character twists are the norm. Superficial characters and excessive drama are all too common. Thankfully, the movie doesn't use much CG until the end, but when it does, it's pretty poor. The effects look like they were done by the same house that did the terrible wolves in Twilight, and towards the end there is a panning shot that looks like it was from a 1990s computer game. Sure, the movie has some attractive new actors / actresses and plenty of eye candy, but that's about all the movie has going for it. It's not a good movie and unless you're the most die-hard of Twilight fans, avoid enrolling in the Vampire Academy.


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