If there was one film that trailers and posters made me determined not to see this year, it was Vampire Academy. The slogan “They Suck At School” was mincing for sexual innuendo while making a horrible pun about vampires eating and suffering academically. Throw this on top of a neon single coloured poster with the image of two scantily clad teen girls, and I figure there is absolutely no substance to this. The trailers purposely exclude plot, opting to show clips of one-liners void of context, campus partying, and shots of sexual biting.
Convinced by someone more informed about the storyline itself, I agreed to see the film. All expectations provided by the marketing “dumb-down” strategy were promptly turned on their heads. Vampire Academy was one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen in a long time. With the talents of Daniel Waters as the screenwriter (Heathers), and director Mark Waters (Mean Girls), the movie gives us characters that are realistic and well developed and churns some of the bitchiest dialogue in fantastic verbal sparring. The dialogue is reminiscent of Joss Whedon’s “Buffy-speak” in that while still being witty and sharp it manages to remain natural and modern. Speaking of sparring, the hand-to-hand combat scenes are beautifully choreographed. (more…)