I’ve spent the last week settling into my new temporary home up north where spring flowers are in full bloom and the growing fever in the air reminds me that summer is swiftly approaching. It’s a nice change to be in a climate that doesn’t get nearly as hot as down south and the mornings and evenings can be downright chilly. So last weekend I decided to take a break from unpacking and rent a movie from Redbox. Being an avid reader of YA fiction, I eagerly chose the new release of Vampire Academy. The book reminded me of a Mean Girls of the vampire world – teenage girl drama with fangs. It wasn’t my favorite book by far, but I enjoyed it and have continued reading the series. I knew the movie tanked at the box office, but, in my defense, I never read any reviews.
I wish I had.
Once again, Hollywood has taken a perfectly good book and butchered it for the amusement of unread audiences (because they had to have known that fans of the series would not be happy with this production). In my opinion, this has to be one of the worst book-to-film adaptations I have seen. Not the worst, as it stayed true to the story’s main premise and plot, but still really, really bad.
So what was so awful about this movie? Well, my first disappointment was the lack of chemistry between Rose and Dimitri. In fact, it seemed to me that the casting director just picked the first Russian guy that auditioned. Sure, he looked the part, but I just didn’t feel it from him. Sorry, comrade. I felt Zoey Deutch, who played Rose, portrayed her character well, from her unwavering loyalty to her best friend Lissa to her snarky attitude and biting remarks to her nemesis, Mia. But there was just nothing there between the two future lovers. Their relationship felt forced and uncomfortable. Watching them interact was like trying to hook up a vegan with an avid hunter, only with much less passion. Plus, the movie seemed to rush through the story, leaving out those moments that where we slowly experience Rose and Dimitri fall for each other, not that it would have mattered anyway.
Other things that irked me were the nonessential scenes added that did not actually take place in the book, specifically the attack by the Strigoi in the beginning. What the…??? I did not see that coming. Why do you do this, Hollywood? Why?! And once again at the end of the movie, as the camera pans back to reveal the crowd Strigoi waiting in the caves outside the academy. As if there would be a sequel (much less two sequels since this scene actually refers to climax of book 3). I assure you – there will be no sequel.
That’s it for now. Did you see the movie? Loved it? Hated it? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!