(cw: sexual themes)
“surely you have something more interesting to discuss than my ass.”
(it’s ok if you don’t, my ass is pretty great.)
ok. i need to start by just… talking through what happens in the first scene between the main characters. one of them–rose–is a half-vampire, the other–lissa (who is a literal freaking princess btw)–is a full vampire. we’ll later learn that in their society, half-vampires serve as sort of glorified bodyguards of full vampires.
anyway, rose deduces that lissa is thirsty (she says “hungry” but whatever) and invites her to the kitchen, promising to “make her favorite.” once in the kitchen she drinks some water, sits down, and pulls one side of her tank top down to completely bare her shoulder. lissa, clearly nervous and shy, asks “are you sure about this?” but at rose’s insistence bites into her willing shoulder. rose closes her eyes, gasp/moans, arches her back… you see what i’m getting at, right? afterwards, a clearly-embarrassed lissa murmurs “thanks” and rose grinningly asks “what are friends for?”
THIS IS SO GAY.
oh, i’m sorry. you aren’t convinced by like… the entire history of vampire biting being read as sexual? fair enough. when rose and lissa get back to the vampire academy rumors start spreading that rose let lissa use her as “her personal feedbag.” when rose makes out with a boy at one point (ugh) he starts trying to bite her and she’s having none of it. and we later learn that it’s canonically an act of sexual deviance to allow yourself to be bitten during sex????? also lissa half-jokingly calls rose her “blood bitch” AND OH MY GODDESSES JUST LET THEM BE GAY, PLEASE.
there are also humans who willingly turn themselves over to the vampires to be fed on for a period of time. when rose expresses concern about that (… despite doing exactly that for lissa earlier in the film), lissa dismissively responds that they “get something out of it.” and like, tbh? totally fair. i’m not sure i wouldn’t be all over that if i lived in this universe.
anyway my biggest complaint is that the movie is too cowardly to let rose and lissa be together. both of them have to have boys they’re crushing on. and to make matters worse, the boy rose is crushing on is her freaking mentor who explicitly calls out the fact that their relationship would be inappropriate. and then they just keep right on flirting anyway. no no no no no no no.
zooming out from how gay/not gay (and kinda bdsmy???) this movie is, i was warned by my friend aleph before we even started watching it to expect it to be the most fanficcy thing i’ve ever seen, and they weren’t kidding. and like… i’m not actually saying that’s a point against it???
it has the exact same breathless excitement that fanfic has. the same absolute trainwrecks of exposition dumps in dialogue that’s trying to sound casual but just isn’t. the characters with the big, surface-level motivations, many of whom are defined by little but their relationships to each other. the dialogue, especially early on, seems terrified of empty space.
this just feels like fanfic so much more than anything else i’ve ever seen that everyone has (mostly derisively) compared to fanfic, and i’m kinda super here for it??? like, i was moved to involuntary laughter more than once, but it wasn’t mean-spirited laughter. it was affectionate.
i wrote very, very teenage girl-ish fanfic when i was the age where people do that sorta stuff, so this movie made me feel very seen. this is just exactly the same kind of writing that gay girls who don’t know they’re gay yet do in fanfic, but it’s a movie. i kind of love it.
but just let them be gay. i’m begging you.