As a book lover, it is rare for me to think that a movie is going to be as good as the book, but that doesn’t mean that the movie isn’t worth watching!
Vampire Academy is based off the first book in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, which follows Rose, a human-vampire dhampir, who is sworn to protect her Moroi (mortal vampire) best friend Lissa from all threats, including the Strigoi (immortal, evil vampires). Rose and Lissa have been on the run for two years before they are dragged back to the Vampire Academy (or St Vlad’s as it is really called), where all sorts of unusual and disturbing events begin to take place.
At first Vampire Academy the movie bares little resemblance to the book, which sucks you in (excuse the pun) from the first line. By contrast, the movie takes a while to warm up to – the beginning is stilted, and too much is explained without being shown. This is probably because the world of the film is so complex that if they didn’t exposition dump anyone who hadn’t read the books wouldn’t understand it, but makes the first 15-20 minutes of the film drag a bit.
However, once the movie really gets into the thick of things, Vampire Academy actually becomes quite a fun watch (especially if you’ve read the books and enjoy seeing characters brought to life on screen). The fight scenes are well choreographed, and exciting (if a little cheesy), and the atmosphere of tension might be a little lighter than in the novel, but it serves the running banter between characters in the movie well. Once the actors warm up, Zoey Deutch makes a great Rose – sassy, snarky, and confident. She plays the part well and really steals the show from the other actors.
Lissa and Rose’s friendship is strong throughout the film, and their individual romances are definitely secondary plotlines. However, if you are a fan of the books, chances are you are interested in how the Dimitri/Rose relationship is portrayed. Movie Dimitri is probably a little less crushable than book Dimitri, mostly because the age difference between Rose and him looks a wider than it is in the books, and it makes their romance more awkward than anything.
Regardless of the movie’s flaws, Vampire Academy is an entertaining watch, and fans of the books will probably enjoy seeing it. But the question remains: will Frost Bite (the series’ second book) be made into a movie too? The ending of the first film implies that there will, but given the amount of young adult book adaptions that haven’t made it to a second film, I wouldn’t go expecting one. Only time, and box office numbers will tell!
Vampire Academy, directed by Mark Waters, is in cinemas March 6th. M Violence & sexual references.