: Vampire Academy
Normally I might not even write about such a terrible movie, but this one clearly had real potential that I find it a fascinating exercise in bad decisions.
The premise is decent: a school where vampires send their children. But these aren’t bad vampires — they’re mostly harmless, though they have magical abilities. There are two other races: the bad vampires (which are pretty much like the evil vampires in most legends), and a race of protectors, which are sort of like the good vampires’ bodyguards.
The story is mostly about one of these bodyguards, a girl, who tries to protect her friend, a vampire princess. They tire of school rules and run away but are hunted down and returned, while real threats from bad vampires loom. Eventually we uncover a conspiracy to kidnap and kill the princess, yada yada yada.
What’s great about the film is the bodyguard character. She’s a hoot, a sassy, smart-mouthed fighter who leaps before she looks. Unfortunately, that’s about the only thing good in the movie. Everything goes downhill right from the convoluted start, where we begin a year after the girls have run away from school. They’re hiding out on their own, which all has to be tediously explained (as do the various magical races), but then they’re caught very easily by school guards and returned. So how did they survive for a year if it was so easy to catch them?
From there the film just goes downhill. The exposition is terrible, with narration to explain vampire society to the viewer, and while those details are critical to the plot, they’re presented in such a backwards manner that it makes them artificial. Let me give you just one example.
Early on in the film we’re shown the princess sucking blood from her bodyguard. This is presented as routine between the two of them. Later we learn that this is forbidden behavior for vampires, with the two girls mocked upon their return to school for engaging in such naughtiness. But this is all backwards: we see the behavior first, out of context, and only later are we told it’s not kosher. And it’s never very clear exactly how “bad” a thing this is. Is it merely rude, scandalous, or criminal? There are few consequences shown, so it’s very confusing. Ultimately, even though this turns out to be an important part of the plot, it feels silly and unimportant.
The whole movie is filled with stuff like that. Everything’s backwards. It’s like key details being filled in via flashback, except the flashback isn’t even interesting, it’s boring narration. Just terrible.
The basic idea isn’t bad at all and this could have been a decent flick, but the raw ingredients are put together in such a disjointed, awkward fashion that nothing in the film really works. Such potential wasted. Very sad.