A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Vampire Academy is an action/comedy based on the bestselling young adult novels by Richelle Mead. It contains plenty of Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style martial arts fighting and monsters, plus a generous amount of blood, even if it's not overly gory. Some dead animals are shown (but obviously not harmed in real life). The teenage characters are shown kissing in more than a few scenes, and sex is a topic for discussion fairly frequently. In one scene, two characters are under a spell and begin kissing and falling into bed together; the female hero is shown in her bra and panties and the man is shown in underpants. There's also quite a few cleavage shots of the female lead. Language is mild, but still contains "ass," "bitch," "whore," and "d--k."
What's the story?
Rose (Zoey Deutch) is a Dhampir, a half-vampire whose job is to serve as a guardian for the pureblood vampires, known as the Moroi. Rose is bonded to princess Lissa (Lucy Fry). For mysterious reasons, they have run away from their school, nicknamed the VAMPIRE ACADEMY, but are found and forced to return. There they face a series of strange occurrences, such as warnings written in blood and dead animals left as omens. This could be the work of a race of evil vampires, the Strigoi, or it could be something even more sinister. Meanwhile, both Rose and Lissa must deal with ordinary high school stuff, like crushes, bullies, and the big upcoming dance.
Is it any good?
Unfortunately, what the Water Brothers deliver is not a very good movie. To start, it looks bad, like waxy video with bad computer-generated effects stamped on top. The writing is filled with exposition and explanations, trying to get all the information of this vampire world across in the most direct and graceless way possible. This writing often leads to bad acting, even by such veterans as Gabriel Byrne. However, with its particularly unique attitude, it has a chance to become a classic "good-bad" movie.
Screenwriter Daniel (Heathers) and director Mark (Mean Girls), are no strangers to this kind of material. And even though Vampire Academy is very clearly meant to capitalize on franchises like Twilight and Harry Potter, the brothers are more interested in creating something snappy and irreverent. It's not a bad spoof, like Vampires Suck, but rather its own welcome entity. Certainly the spunky Zoey Deutch helps, with her boundless energy and funny line readings.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. How does seeing blood affect the intensity of the violence? What's your reaction to seeing violence onscreen?
How much does this fictional high school have in common with your own high school?
How does the movie compare to the books? What is the appeal of these kinds of supernatural/young adult stories?
- In theaters: February 7, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: May 20, 2014
- Cast: Danila Kozlovsky, Lucy Fry, Zoey Deutch
- Director: Mark Waters
- Studio: Weinstein Co.
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Book characters, High school, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: violence, bloody images, sexual content and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.