Zoey Deutch

Vampire Academy

“We know you gave Vampire Academy a bad review, but we thought you might find this interesting.” An entirely unfortunate part of writing about films in a critical manner involves steeling yourself against often surprisingly vitriolic attacks from perfect strangers who don’t agree with your opinion (and, yes, this is all opinion) on a production and think that entitles them to belittle you, threaten you, and swamp you with messages (public and private) of the purely revolting variety. Yet, it’s not often that a fan reaches out directly over email to hem and haw about some critical disagreements, so (God help me) I tend to read those emails with a heightened interest (after all, they took the time to find my email address and not just post anonymously on a piece) and an actual eye to responding (barring, you know, threats against my person or whatever). Last night’s email, intriguingly titled “Thought this might interest you.” and leading off with the admission that my non-fandom of Vampire Academy had been outed in last week’s review of the film, piqued my interest. Did I really give Vampire Academy a “bad” review? And how likely was it that this email would contain a Photoshopped picture of my head on a stake?

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Vampire Academy

“You’re making this about high school, and it’s about something more.” While Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) seems to think that her BFF Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry) is too concerned with the internal politics of yes, the vampire academy the pair attend, Mark Waters’s Vampire Academy is simply not concerned enough with mining the very fertile ground of high school BS to bolster his adaptation of Richelle Mead’s popular YA series. Set in a world where vampires exist (in three varieties, no less, though none of them sparkle!), Vampire Academy attempts to blend teen drama with bloody vampire battles to diminishing, if surprisingly funny, results.

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Vampire Academy

In a year devoid of Twilight installments, it’s up to another intrepid film franchise to step in and fill the void it left for sexy teen vampires to stomp all over real-life squealing teen girl hearts. Enter Mark Waters‘ Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, a film based on a popular paranormal YA series about (not sparkly) dhampirs, half human/vampires attending a private high school and just trying to live normal lives. I say “normal” in an “attempting to be human” aspect, because these kids all look like they just waltzed off the set of Gossip Girl or that party in Pretty in Pink where they tell Andie she’s poor. One of the gossip dampirs, Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch), has been tasked with protecting the others from sinister, immortal vampires – it’s her legacy. Her other classmates, played by Danila Kozlovsky, Olga Kurylenko, Joely Richardson, Sarah Hyland, and Gabriel Byrne, do not seem to appreciate this one bit. High school is really hard for everyone. I say it’s up to you to decide whether it’s time for more vampire/dhampir action, or if the wounds that Edward and company have left in our hearts (necks?) are too fresh to move on to a new crowd. Check out the trailer for yourself after the break.

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