Thoroughly enjoyed this movie. After all the hit and misses of best selling young adult books turned into movies and not capturing the flavor of the books and not even being that much fun. All the studios are trying to make the next Harry Potter, Twilight or Hunger Games franchise. When done right these films are a treat for fans and non fans alike. I think Vampire Academy succeeds where films like Beautiful Creatures, The Host, the marginally better The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones failed. Yes, it's about vampires a subject done to death both on the big screen and the small. Yes, its about teenage angst. Yes, it hits all the cliches of being popular, of being bullied, of battling the Mean Girls and Mean Boys but it takes all those cliches and twists them around so they are fresh and fun to see. I think partly why this movie succeeds so much is the main character Rose Hathaway who a dhampir, half Moroi (vampire) and half human whose destiny is to protect her BFF, the royal vampire princess, with her life. It's fun to see a young female have such a strong personality and have such a sense of self and such focus. This is no dumb girl wallowing in angst waiting for her Prince Charming to save her. Bella anyone. What is also fresh is while initially Lyssa, the vampire princess, comes across as the stereotypical Bella character, young, stupid and wallowing in self pity she really isn't that character. Much of the dialog reminds me of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode on steroids. Lots of snark and witty repartee.
While there are fight scenes and staking of the bad vampires there are not alot of blood and guts and more fun then anything else. The most disturbing scenes are when Lyssa finds a dead fox hung outside her door gutted. Even that is done quickly enough that small kids might not even realize what it is. Even the mandatory blood scenes aren't that scary as it looks more like syrup instead of blood. All this keeps up with the films quick, fast paced charm. Interestingly enough this film was a collaboration between a British and Romanian film companies. Filmed in the UK.