High school vampire girl cliques that don't click

Dominic Sherwood and Lucy Fry in "Vampire Academy," adapted from the first installment of Richelle Mead's six-novel young adult series. LAURIE SPARHAM / The Weinstein Co.
Dominic Sherwood and Lucy Fry in "Vampire Academy," adapted from the first installment of Richelle Mead's six-novel young adult series. LAURIE SPARHAM / The Weinstein Co.
Posted: February 09, 2014

Ever since Twilight convinced tweens that vampires were hot and fangs a girl's best friend, the multiplex hasn't been safe for honest, blood-soaked, vampires-are-nasty movies.

Instead, we're served limp fare like Vampire Academy, a silly fizzle of red corpuscle-spiked froth from Freaky Friday and Mean Girls director Mark Waters.

Adapted from the first installment of Richelle Mead's six-novel young adult series, Vampire Academy is a derivative magic 'n' monsters teen rom-com that mixes the not-so-risqué sexuality of Twilight with the high school histrionics of Mean Girls and plops it all down at a Harry Potter-ish school of magic.

Set at St. Vladimir's Academy, an exclusive boarding school that caters to the vampire elite, Vampire Academy stars svelte Disney Channel alumna Zoey Deutch as Rose Hathaway, a 17-year-old half-vampire - or dhampir - and Aussie actor Lucy Fry as her BFF, Princess Vasilisa "Lissa" Dragomir. Lissa is a full vampire of the Moroi variety - they're full of niceness and good breeding.

In some of the most awkward expository dialogue in movie history, we learn that like all dhampirs, Rose's entire existence is devoted to protecting Moroi from the baddie vampires, the Strigoi, Nosferatu-like creatures with bright red LEDs for eyes. And Rose is seriously devoted to Lissa to the point of forging a psychic link with her.

Rose spends most of her time protecting Lissa from Mean Girls-type chicks who hate and envy her because she's a member of the Moroi royal family.

She helps Lissa develop her innate magical abilities and she sets her up with Christian (Dominic Sherwood), the hottest, most buff member of the Edward Cullen school of brooding, angst-ridden leading men.

But Rose and Lissa have to grow up fast when they uncover a sinister plot hatched by one of Lissa's mentors! Aw shucks, what'll happen next?!


Vampire Academy *1/2 (out of four stars)

Directed by Mark Waters. With Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Gabriel Byrne, Dominic Sherwood, Olga Kurylenko. Distributed by The Weinstein Co.

Running time: 1 hour, 44 mins.

Parent's guide: PG-13 (mild vampire violence, tepid sexuality, profanity)

Playing at: Area theaters


tirdad@phillynews.com

215-854-2736

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