Vampire Academy
DIRECTOR: Mark Waters
CAST: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Sarah Hyland, Cameron Monaghan, Olga Kurylenko, Gabriel Byrne
RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes


THIS latest instalment in cheaply adapted teenage vampire urban fantasy is so bad it makes Twilight look like award-worthy stuff.

We’re talking beyond cliché-ridden, plot-lite and festooned with acting of the Hannah Montana school. Which actually kind of makes sense since it must be aimed at little 11-year-old girls who think vampires are just so awesome and boarding schools are amazing and oh my gosh, what if vampires went to boarding school. Swoon.

Face it, despite the actually high quotient of violence, this is not meant for adults.

Based on a bestselling young adult series of books by Richelle Mead, it totally dumbs down even what little intelligent storyline could be eked out of her convoluted paranormal romance novels.

In this particular world there are bad vampires called Strigoi, peaceful vampires called Moroi and half vampire, half human guardians called Dhampir.

Rose (Deutch) is training to be a guardian to her best friend Lissa (Fry) at a boarding school somewhere in the forests of Montana. Er, ja, that’s America, the New World, not some forgotten forest in the Old World. So do not be expecting blood and terror and existential angst. Think Disney vampires without Disney sugar.

The film is fuzzy on its own internal mythology, there is no sense of a vast scope of history but lots of rushing about. Throw in lots of teenage angst about bullying and does this outfit match my fangs, but then someone gets kidnapped again and oh boy, we’ve got to rescue them.

Director Mark Waters (this is the guy that made Mean Girls?) appears to have e-mailed his instructions in because no one seems to have provided any sort of leadership, and those fights scenes are badly co-ordinated and filmed in such a way that you cannot actually make out what is going on.

The pace is stop-start and the plot holes problematic. And chief guardian, adult Dimitri (Kozlovsky) the object of 16-year-old Rose’s affection? Not only is the depiction of the relation- ship beyond creepy, he is absolutely terrible at tai chi.

Gabriel Byrne and Olga Kurylenko. Wow. What a waste.

The voice-over by Rose suggests there will be meta-humour around the proliferation of teenage vam- pire movies, but alas and alack, no.

If you liked Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant or The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, you will like this.