Mean girls have claws …and pointy teeth, too

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Roger Moore

THE var­i­ous young blood suck­ers of Vam­pire Academy be­long to war­ring clans with a royal fam­ily; some are ap­pointed as “guardians” of those roy­als. They use sil­ver dag­gers to kill each other and have vary­ing de­grees of sen­si­tiv­ity to the harsh light of day. And just in case there’s still con­fu­sion: “They don’t sparkle, ei­ther.”

It’s a self-aware hor­ror/ac­tion com­edy, first in a pos­si­ble fran­chise (sigh) based on Richelle Mead’s books, that sits some­where on the bor­der be­tween Twi­light, Harry Pot­ter and Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer. Jokes? They bought those in bulk. Line af­ter some­what amus­ing line, most of them de­liv­ered in a near-slurred blur by the snarky half-hu­man novice guardian Rose, played by Suite Life alumna Zoey Deutch. “The stakes are high — get it?” Rose is guard­ing Lissa (Lucy Fry), who is a princess, so nat­u­rally she has a Bri­tish ac­cent. They’re bonded, those two. Tele­pathic. Rose and Lissa have been on the run from school, but St. Vladimir fi­nally nabs them and brings them back... Wait, “Saint” Vladimir? That’s right. Mead’s books have stu­dent vam­pires learn­ing of their pa­tron saint, hear­ing Eastern Ortho­dox-ish ser­mons in chapel, in be­tween the usual in­stances of high school haz­ing, mean-girl nas­ti­ness and make­out ses­sions. And man­ag­ing one’s magic. Gabriel Byrne is an elder-some­thing-or-other at the school, Joely Richard­son is the scold­ing queen who lords over them and Olga Kurylenko the head­mistress who “could have been a model.” Set in Mon­tana, filmed in the U.K.’s castle­coun­try, the school is the only place Lissa can be pro­tected from the Strigoi, evil vam­pires who want to in­ter­rupt the royal line. Te­dious as all this vam­pire ex­po­si­tion is (and

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