1. It passes the Bechdel Test.
It passes the Bechdel Test. I can’t emphasize this enough. Something that so many movies fail these days! It’s not like it’s a hard test to pass, either.
The girls in this movie are developed characters that are more than the boys whom they talk about. Some of the girls are badass, some are graceful, some are intelligent, some are manipulative, some are arrogant, some are witty, some are compassionate, some are loyal, some are strong, some have crushes, some are awkward, some are popular. They’re dynamic characters.
Girl empowerment is fabulous, so go support that shit.
2. Young adult novel movie adaptations can be amazing.
A lot of bestselling young adult novels have been getting made into movies lately. Some adaptations are good, some adaptations are bad. This one was good. I’ll be honest, when I first saw the trailers, I was skeptical. The marketing for the movie is rather misleading and to be blunt, sucks a lot and misrepresents the book. But I get it, they were trying to go down the Mark Waters and Mean Girls and comedy route instead of the badass and girl power and action route. As my sister said, “It looked like one of those scary movies. Like Scary Movie 4 or something, like they were trying to make fun of it.”
Want a good trailer? Watch this.
Also, I am the first to be super sad and depressed if one of my favorite books is butchered by its movie adaptation. This was good. It kept the plot, kept the darkness, kept the romance, kept the humor, kept the action, kept everything that made me love it when I first read the books.
3. The friendship between Rose and Lissa is incredible.
Major props to Richelle Mead for this. Their friendship is the kind of friendship that I want with my best friends. They deal with the drama of high school and through everything else that they put with, they are unfailingly loyal to each other. They laugh, they fight, they cry, but when they do fight, there are apologies and forgiveness. They stay loyal to one another. That’s kind of cool to see in the movie industry where high school girls are so often portrayed as slut shaming and back stabbing one another.
4. Female sexuality in the movie.
Hell to the go female empowerment on this one. There are scenes where it’s initiated by the girl, where it’s her choice, where she takes control over her sex life, and where she is empowered in doing so. She goes to go make out with someone because she wants to, simple as that.
Major plus: In one of the last scenes, there’s a line about shaming slut-shaming.
5. The reviews aren’t that accurate.
Most of the people critiquing the movie are NOT in the demographic that the movie is meant for - teenagers and young adults. Is this their fault? No. Are all of them not in this demographic? No. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t an Oscar-winning movie. But it’s fun. It’s entertaining. It’s hilarious, actually. Zoey Deutch as Rose Hathaway takes the prize for best comedic delivery.
6. It’s not really a “vampire movie.”
The title is a little misleading. If you asked me to describe the movie, it would take a little while to get to “vampire movie.” It’s a movie that happens to have vampires. A witty, kickass high school movie, with tons of action and of course, romance.
But if you do happen to love vampire movies, this is still for you, fangs and bloodsucking included.
7. THE CAST.
Okay, so maybe I’m really biased here because I met most of them. But the cast is incredible, honestly.
Did I mention that they had great chemistry, too? The list goes on and on. These are rising stars and I promise you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
Zoey freaking Deutch is perfect as Rose. Her comedic timing is on point and when you walk out of the movie you want to be her best friend. Lucy Fry is somehow royal and graceful and giggly and depressed all at the same time. Danila Kozlovsky is hot and does the sexy accent thing, something that he and Dominic Sherwood must have practiced together.
Cameron Monaghan pines adorably from afar, and his own badass-guardianness make it hard to understand why Rose doesn’t just go for him. Sami Gayle plays the mean girl in a desperate sort of way that almost makes you feel sorry for her. Sarah Hyland is awkward and gawky and babbles to the point where it’s uncomfortable, and then shines in the ending scenes of the film.
8. The writing and the directing is on point.
HELLO? THE WATERS BROTHERS?
Um, yes please. Mean Girls and Heathers aren’t classics for nothing. These guys know how to make a movie about high school and friendships and comedy and they know how to entertain you.
10. It talks about mental illnesses.
*spoilers / trigger warning*
The movie talks about dealing with mental illness in a very real (albeit with a vampiric spin) way. I don’t want to spoil anyone, but it shows it subtlety, and perhaps more importantly, characters trying to support one another through it.
11. It made me feel something.
The first piece of criteria with movies, or any art form, really, that I use, is if it made me feel something. Did it make me laugh, cry, smile, sigh, gasp,relate, anything? If yes, then it passes that test. This movie made me laugh, gasp, smile, and laugh. I laughed a lot. Vampire Academy was funny! It’s the kind of movie that you watch with your best girl friends so that you can sympathize with the characters facing the dramas of high school and swoon over the boys and their accents. I related to the characters, because yes, I am a girl in high school, and yes, they captured the feel of high school pretty damn well right down to the soundtrack.
Vampire Academy is a pretty kickass movie.
I’m not saying that it’s the next Titanic or Inception, but does it entertain? Yes. Did I laugh? Many times.
Is it a testament to female empowerment and friendship and loyalty? Hell yes.
Vampire Academy is in theaters in the US now.