Richelle Mead was telling you the truth when she said this movie rates 8/10 in faithfulness to the book. Although scenes were out of ordered or sped up or even slightly altered, Vampire Academy stays true to the original material. But we know some of you are curious to what stayed, what was altered, and what was taken out. If you don’t mind the “spoilers”, read on. Otherwise, skip to the bottom of post and check out what we thought of the movie overall.
(In no particular order)
– A Strigoi attack in the beginning when returning to the Academy. Although this scene was not in the book, it definitely added on to the existing danger/threats of Strigoi that we believe helps tie to future novels. Strigoi attacks seemed to pop out of nowhere in the second book as in the first book Strigoi were only talked about. This added Strigoi attack was needed for a better connection to (possible) future movies. Bottomline: It adds evidence of Strigoi threat.
– Guardian Alberta Petrov was not in the movie, however, we believe Guardian Gabriela (Dominique Tipper) was her replacement. We’re not entirely sure why this character was altered, we have a couple theories, but if you want to discuss with us on this, comment below!
– Guardian Stan Alto and Mr. Nagy are not in the movie. Mr. Nagy is mentioned by a name on one of the folders in Kirova’s office, so he’s either on leave, retired, or passed. It seems, though, that the new teacher, Mr. Meisner (Ramon Tikaram) replaces both Stan and Nagy. Why the introduction of this character rather than the others, we aren’t sure. Comment your thoughts!
– Rose breaks her ankle before going shopping. This was so gruesome. I literally flinched because of the way her leg was broken. I needed a warning lol I know I won’t be looking when I buy the DVD. Anyways, the way Rose’s ankle/leg is broken is different from the book, (although it does not matter how or when it’s broken). When Rose tries to get Lissa to realize what is happening to her (with spirit), Lissa’s abilities lashes out of control and before she realizes it, she created a hole in the ground that Rose saw too later and walked into, snapping her leg. Ouch. Flinching while I’m typing this. After Rose gets better, (yes, Lissa healed her like in the book), the girls make up then (rather than later) and go shopping with Victor and Natalie not so long later.
– Rose and Dimitri begin stake training. I didn’t mind the fact that Rose’s training was accelerated in this movie, as long as she didn’t kill any Strigoi.
– Rose attacks a man at the mall. This scene was pretty funny. The poor guy was just seeing if Lissa wanted to try a product and Rose, by Guardian reaction, saw him as a threat and nearly took him down before realizing what was happening. Although not in the book, I loved this scene. Funny, but it also shows how protective Rose is of Lissa.
– Lissa receives (blood) messages. In the book, Lissa kept finding dead animals. In the movie, they only had 2 dead animals (not including the crow) and a couple blood messages and a computer animated message. We already knew the amount of dead animals would be minimal as Dan Waters had said at NYCC ’13. The first blood message was during church, on a stone wall used as a “in memory of” the passed Dragomirs, in which the wall was also destroyed. A later message was in her dorm room made by the blood of Mia, Jesse, and Ray’s flashheat. I forget what the first animal was but it was hanging outside the dorm rooms, Lissa finding it and Rose taking off when she felt her pain. The last animal Lissa found, with Rose and Natalie by her side, was Oscar the cat, (Lissa had kept the cat from the beginning of the book).
– When Victor tries to escape from prison after Natalie frees him, Dimitri is there blocking his escape. Victor tries to use earth magic and attack him but Dimitri reflected it, knocking out Victor. I thought this was a cool add-on. Definitely doesn’t affect the series.
– Victor uses a gun and shoots Christian. Rather than getting hurt by the psihounds, Christian gets taken down by a bullet from Victor. Even when shot, Christian uses his last bits of energy to produce massive fire and attack the psihounds, saving Rose and Lissa. Of course, Lissa stills feeds off Rose and saves Christian.
– Mia gets Lissa wet with a water fountain. In the book, snow drops all over Lissa but in the movie Mia uses the water fountain Lissa was drinking from. The change doesn’t matter, as it only mattered that we see Mia bullying Lissa. The dialogue following it, between Lissa, Aaron, and Mia, was pretty funny. And yes, Mia says bitch not blood whore.
– Rose arrives with Natalie and Lissa for the Equinox Dance. In the book, Rose and Lissa were still mad at each other and came with different people to the dance. But in the movie, the two had made up before the dance. But it was fine, and it was super cute because, at least it’s how I interpreted it, Rose sets up a dance for Lissa and Christian. (Yes, Rose did basically tell Christian to fuck off, then apologized later for lying about Lissa)
– Rose and Lissa find the almost-dead crow in the courtyard. Basically, it was a different setting. Lissa still healed the bird and Ms. Karp was there (super creepy and weird).
– Rose finds out what happens to Ms. Karp. Instead of already knowing what happened to Ms. Karp, Rose comes back to the Academy confused to what happened to Karp. Everything around the subject is hush-hush, so of course Rose does her own investigating. Ms. Karp had been recording herself, talking about the darkness and how it “beckons” her. The last day, however, was missing from the folder so Dimitri eventually showed her what happened on the prison cells’ computers.
– Queen Tatiana visits twice. They added on an extra scene at the end, after everything has resolved, giving Lissa the chance to stand up for herself against everyone and the Queen. I’m still unsure how I feel about this end scene. Comment below what you though!
– Headmistress Kirova uses a type of drug to knock out (bad/misbehaving?) students. She was going to use one on Rose after the dance, but before she could, Rose took it and used it on Kirova instead. This lead to Kirova’s line, “I could have been a model”.
– Mia and Kirova are scheming. I don’t know exactly what was the scheming. I have to watch the movie again to fully understand whatever it was. Let me know if you figured it out.
– Lissa can control the four elements. In one scene, Rose holds up a stick which she sets on fire. At a party, Lissa does some “keg magic” (water) then more fire and air magic. Although not in the book, it kind of replaces Ms. Karp. In the book, Ms. Carmack (elemental teacher) tells Rose that Karp had low control of all 4 elements. So, to show the magic of Spirit and the affects of it on the user, Lissa was used as the representation of it.
– There were only 2 psihounds. The amount doesn’t matter, but I wish there were more! They were pretty cool. The eye color change, from passive to attack, was pretty cool.
– Rose meets with Christian in the church attic to find information on Vladimir to help Lissa. Which leads to the finding of the bursts of magic causing cuts on Lissa’s arm (and Vladimir’s). I thought this was neat, still disturbing, but a different take on this that makes sense.
– Rose sets a motorcycle on fire. She sets a bike on fire and sends it towards the guardians after her and Lissa. They’re injured, however, here comes Dimitri…
– Natalie steals Mia’s laptop. Natalie and Rose do some investigating on Mia’s laptop to see why she hates Lissa so much and find her photos with Andre. The two deduced she was in love with Lissa’s brother, and goes the course like in the book.
– Rose speaks with Kirova and some other school leaders, (we’re guessing that’s who they are). Rose speaks of her concern of Lissa to Kirova, who doesn’t believe her of course. Lissa later speaks to them and proves she’s fine and that Rose was lying.
– Ms. Karp assists with Rose and Lissa’s escape? We aren’t too sure with this, but it’s what it seemed. Their escape is the same, but Karp’s assistance was new.
– Natalie kills Ray. In the book, Natalie originally killed Mr. Nagy to become Strigoi. In the movie, she kills Ray instead. We thought this made sense, as Ray (aka Ralf) isn’t important to later movies/novels.
– Guardian training is outside. The dhampirs train outside on some cool obstacle courses and long mats for stake training. We’re not sure if all training is outside or not, but it was cool to see their training.
– Mia’s new look. In the book, Mia had curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She has blonde hair in the movie, and that’s it. But her change in looks is explained by Natalie, something along the line of “New her, new looks”. Makes sense. What are your thoughts?
– Natalie licks the wall of blood. This was a pretty funny scene. Although not in the book, it was fun and we got to see some hilarity and Natalie’s “weirdness”.
Are we missing anything? Let us know!
If I were to look at this movie with no background knowledge gained from reading the books, I think I would enjoy this movie. However, the movie is quite fast-paced that it may cause newcomers to not be able to completely grasp the world of Vampire Academy. The idea of having a protagonist already set in their “world” and not going through some mind-blowing scene of discovering they’re not who they thought they were is quite refreshing. But pacing is key for it to work. I was completely confused by the fact that the new music video for VA was not used as the introduction to the movie. I thought it would’ve worked perfectly and we wouldn’t be needing Rose to explain what’s occurring in the beginning.
Overall, this was enjoyable. There were a few cheesy moments, but much more fun moments. The Strigoi fight scene, Ms. Karp’s downward spiral to darkness, Rose and Lissa’s bond, and the fight scene with Natalie and the psihounds were the highlights of the film. The actors were great. We pray for a second movie, but chances are looking slim.