Vampire Academy Parent Guide
"Vampire Academy" tries too hard to be both a comedy and a drama with disastrous results.
Parent Movie Review
One could only hope the obsession with vampires is coming to an end—but apparently not yet. Instead, the Vampire Academy gives us a whole new take on the bloodsuckers and the class system among the undead.
At the top of the caste are the Moroi, the bluebloods of this world. Unlike your typical vampires, these royals have a limited lifespan and eventually die. Their bite isn’t deadly so they feed on willing donors, often in a cafeteria-like setting where the givers get a seemingly erotic pleasure from being a feedbag. With enough good sunscreen or an umbrella, the Moroi can even tolerate the sunlight and, fortunately, indoor mall lighting.
On the opposite end of the scale are the Strigoi, bloodthirsty, savage, immortal vampires that have gone to the dark side. They can’t abide the sun, attack to kill and can only be done in with a silver dagger.
Between these two are the Dhampir—half human/half vampire guardians assigned to protect the Moroi from the Strigoi. Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) is one of these. Her job is to safeguard Princess Vasilisa Dragomir (Lucy Fry), the last remaining royal in her family line.
If ever a film tried to encapsulate every teen stereotype, this would be it. Vasilisa is the slight, blonde, beautiful princess who everyone fawns over. Rose is dark-haired, curvaceous and a no-holds barred fighter who takes her protective role very seriously. High school at St. Vampire Academy feels like something straight out of Mean Girls with bullying, catfights and romantic angst. But the script takes it even further with suggestions of a lesbian relationship, attempts to lose one’s virginity and a flirtation between a teacher and student that gets down to the characters’ black underwear.
The movie delves into even more dangerous depictions when it shows characters slitting their wrists and using their own blood to write threats on the wall. Cutting is also a way one of the characters deals with the emotional pain she is experiencing. Others use their special “powers” to force people to do things against their will, or to inflict harm or damage. Frequent, often graphic hand-to-hand fighting and weapons use, along with the bloody carcasses of animals, are also part of the violent depictions.
In an attempt to be funny, the script uses flippant, silly dialogue and takes a few lowball jabs at Twilight. As much as I dislike that franchise, these slights feel cheap considering Bella and Edward paved the way for teenaged vampires to come out of the shadows and onto the big screen. Like Twilight, Vampire Academy is based on a book series—this one by Richelle Mead. But if Twilight had it’s moments of sexuality that made parents or teens uncomfortable, expect even more in this plot. The movie includes numerous sexually crude comments, some of which have a violent tenor to them.
Vampire Academy tries too hard to be both a comedy and a drama with disastrous results. And the end of the film feels more like a commercial break than a conclusion, with a blatant “place sequel here” scene. So while it’s true that some of these vampires might be more sophisticated than your average garden variety bloodsucker, it will take a lot more that a pint of blood to resuscitate this subpar screenplay.Directed by Mark Waters. Starring Olga Kurylenko, Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky, Lucy Fry. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release February 7, 2014. Updated May 25, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Vampire Academy rated PG-13? Vampire Academy is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, bloody images, sexual content and language.
Violence: A car crash results in death for some characters and bloody injuries for others. A bike explodes injuring men. There are frequent scenes of hand-to-hand battles, beatings, kicking, stabbing and some other weapon use. Dead animals are hung outside a girl’s dorm room. Characters slit their wrists and then write threats on the wall with their own blood. A girl licks the blood on the wall. A character uses her “powers” to make others comply with her wishes. Teens are bullied, threatened and embarrassed in front of their peers. Several characters are shown with cut marks on their wrists. Characters have blood on their faces. A girl attacks a man in the mall. A character attempts to inject a student with a sedative, but is injected herself. A girl is punched in the face and knocked out. Guards use taser-like weapons, guns and other pain inducing tactics. A man is forced to jump out of a window and he falls to his death. A female character is tortured. A man’s neck is broken. Dogs are set on fire. A vampire savagely kills a man and drinks his blood, equating it to a sexual act. Other non-graphic violence is also shown.
Sexual Content: Sexually suggestive scenes and dialogue are shown involving teens. Crass sexual comments are made about anatomy, wet dreams, homosexual relationships and other sexual activities. Characters repeatedly talk about fornication. Characters kiss, sometimes passionately, on several occasions. A teacher and student begin to engage in sexual activity. Characters are seen in their underwear. A teen girl wears cleavage baring tank tops and shirts.
Language: The script contains infrequent mild profanities, curses, crude sexual references and other vulgar comments.
Alcohol / Drug Use:A teacher attempts to inject a student with a sedative, against her will. Characters drink at a party.
Page last updated May 25, 2016
Vampire Academy Parents' Guide
Why would the director use a place like Montana as a setting for this film? Why do vampire movies often take place in rural locations rather than big cities?
Why does Vasilisa worry so much about finding her special power? Is high school a good time to explore many different interests and activities?
How does this movie change the “rules” about vampires?
The most recent home video release of Vampire Academy movie is May 20, 2014. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Vampire Academy
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Vampire Academy releases to home video (Blu-ray/Digital Copy) with the following special features:
- Alternate Opening/Deleted Scenes
- A Conversation With Author Richelle Mead