I will admit that I tend to go for some weird movies for this series. If you scan through the archives you'll find lots of indie or foreign movies, and not much similar to Vampire Academy. In this instance, my wife wanted to see this, and after subjecting her to numerous subtitled movies, I gave in and watched this with her. NEVER AGAIN.

The movie's opening scene should have been good. Lots of movies aim for the shocking moment that occurs in the middle of nowhere; rather than a slow building moment, they show a typical boring conversation, then cut mid-sentence to something that is supposed to make you jump. In this case, a family drive involves cliched teenager banter about the pop music on the radio, and when Dad turns around to give the kids a smirk, the semi-truck swerves into the wrong lane. For someone like me that went into this expecting drivel, a big rig killing three of the first five characters we meet should've at the least raised my eyebrows. Somehow, I felt nothing. The pacing was all off, there wasn't enough time to absorb what was happening before it all blew up. This was an omen of things to come.

Within the first five-to-ten minutes, I actually nudged my wife and asked her if she thought there was something wrong, like the movie was somehow playing at a faster speed than it was supposed to, like playing a 33rpm record at 45rpm. The characters spoke fast, they walked fast, the camera cut fast, and things were explained way too fast. Realistically I knew it was fine, it's not like the actors sounded like The Chipmunks, but there was still just a pace to the movie that made me uncomfortable.

This movie is based on a book, so I understand that I might have been more into it had I read the book, but even my wife, who has read it, said it was a bad adaptation. With books you obviously have to overtly describe everything, but with a movie there is just no need for a character to explain every single thing they do aloud.

Gabriel Byrne is a fine actor, and I've loved him in movies like Miller's Crossing and The Usual Suspects. In this case, I feel like his agent said "Listen Gabe, this is going to be the next 'Twilight', let's get you in on this vampire thing!" and he agreed for the sake of his grandchildren or something. It was just sort of sad. The rest of the cast was bland and unmemorable.

I generally don't like to trash a movie, I try to find some of the positives. In this case, I really have a hard time finding any.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Vampire Academy" gets a 1 out of 10.


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