Richelle Mead (blue_succubus) wrote,
Richelle Mead
blue_succubus

My Review of the Vampire Academy Movie

Well, if you didn’t hear the news that came out recently, here it is again: the Vampire Academy movie’s US release date was moved up to February 7! That means, incredibly, that we Americans are only a few short days from it. I’m super excited about this and really hope you guys are too. I recently had a baby, so I wasn't able to go to the Hollywood premiere last night, but those who went are already loving it. They're not the only ones--I love it too! Yup, that's right, I got to see it in the comfort of my own home, and it is awesome. I could go on and on about what I love about it, but instead, I’m going to tackle some of the common questions I get, now that I can answer with certainty.

Is the movie a comedy?


No! I know some of the advertising really plays up the humorous side, but you have to trust me that the movie exactly matches the tone of the book: a dark, action-packed story with elements of humor and romance spliced throughout. That humor angle was played up in the ads and posters to pull in new viewers who think supernatural books/movies are dull, and it worked! We’ve seen an increase in new readers, which is awesome news. People who are worried about comedy are also worried this is “too high school.” But remember: all the angst and Russian adventure happens later in the series. This first book IS set in high school, but all the dark and serious issues are still totally there. If you watch TV, the odds are good you’ve probably seen a commercial that plays up the movie’s serious side. If not, check out these two trailers to see what I mean: Last Stand and Learn to Kill.

Is the movie true to the book?

This is the big question on everyone’s mind, and I say yes! As I watched it, I was really amazed at how many scenes they kept from the book. I expected more cutting. Some scenes go by fast (understandable with a 1:45 running time), but the moviemakers worked really hard to give at least a nod to every fan favorite scene. Here’s one of my favorites that I could watch over and over: Christian using fire magic in class.

But were changes made?

Of course. Anyone expecting a page by page translation of the book should just listen to the audio version because that’s the only way such a thing is possible. Books and movies are different mediums. You have less time in a movie, and some things that are awesome on the page aren’t so great on the screen. You also have to make sure the movie makes sense to people who’ve read the book AND to those who haven’t. That’s where a lot of adaptations go bad: they cater too much to readers only or too much to newcomers. I’m happy to say this movie hits the right balance, and all the changes made were really smart ones. There’s nothing that radically alters the main plot or characters. They make things look bigger and better and also clarify confusing issues. For me, tweaks like that are part of the adaptation process, and I actually enjoy seeing them.

How was the cast?

Um, awesome! Seriously. I’ve said from the beginning that I’ve loved the casting, and seeing them act just proved it. Every casting decision was spot on, and they were cast not just on their ability to play the character but also on how they interacted with the others. Chemistry is key in this series! Zoey IS Rose, and you’re going to have a hard time deciding which guy you love most because Danila, Dominic, and Cameron all knock it out of the park as Dimitri, Christian, and Mason. I especially love that everyone in the movie--whether they were the star or a small side role--really “got” their character. Lucy Fry, for example, read the book five times to understand Lissa. Seeing the cast bring the characters I created made me feel so emotional and reminded me why readers love those characters so much. It even made ME remember why I love those characters so much and that...gasp...maybe I want to keep writing stories about them!

Is the movie just the first book or all the books?

I’m so surprised this keeps getting asked. I can’t even fathom putting all six books into one movie. It’s just the first.

What about scenes in the trailer that appear to be radically different from the book?

I stand by my earlier statement that this is very true to the book. There are some flashbacks, dream sequences, and background scenes that were added, and seeing snippets of those is what’s confusing some people. Watch the movie. It’ll all make sense.

Are there werewolves in this?
THEY'RE PSI-HOUNDS, modeled exactly off a drawing I made for director Mark Waters.

Is there going to be a movie of Frostbite?

That depends on the success of this one! If it does well, there’ll be a sequel (and hopefully more). Part of the reason such a young cast was chosen was because everyone hopes there’ll be six more years of movies! But this one needs to do well. VA has a big following, but it’s no Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Half of those series’ fan bases could stay home, and they’d still succeed at the theater. We need our full fan base and new people at the theater to be successful, which is why the marketing team has worked so hard to pull in new viewers who don’t normally go to paranormal films.

What’s the final word?


The final word is that I’m super thrilled with the way the movie turned out, and I think you will be too. I’ve seen jaded people comment that I HAVE to say I like it, but here’s the truth: you can believe what you want, but I have a very hard time lying to you guys about things. For example, when my publishers give me covers I don’t like (yeah, it happens), I can’t bring myself to tell you I think they’re good. So, I’ll find a different positive way to spin it, like, “My publisher worked really hard on this and is so excited about it!” That’s what I’d be doing if I thought this movie was bad. Instead, I can say to you straight on that I really love it and hope you guys will as well. From cast to dialogue to breathtaking visuals, they really outdid themselves. The future of the franchise is in your hands now, so go see it! See it on opening day, and bring a bunch of friends because those opening numbers are critical. And remember, a successful first movie means we could very likely see Adrian and Eddie soon...
Tags: movie type stuff
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