The Cinematic Vampire Movement has proven itself to be immortal, with an endless, dull existence that will never end unless we drive a stake through its heart. If you think Twilight moves at a plodding pace and makes you wish for a death that will not come, wait till you see this. The movie is within spitting (biting?) distance of Guilty Pleasure Town, but never makes a solid move into the city limits.
The ingredients of the movie make it look good on paper. It's an all-girls school (who doesn't love that), where two close friends (Sarah Bolger and Sarah Gadon) are driven apart by a mysterious new girl (Lily Cole) who looks like a china doll (awesome) and likes to bathe in blood (doubly awesome). So it should have been one of those movies that roots my behind to the couch on a Saturday afternoon when I find it on cable (causing me to miss very important pedicure appointments--sorry, Sandy). But it barely attains Made for TV movie status because it just never gives you anything to sink your teeth into.
Somehow this movie got an R rating, although it's hard for me to see why. I'm not even sure this is a vampire movie, really, because we never get a real vampire payoff. The china doll mystery lady's name is Ernessa, which sets her up to be creepy and wear lots of lace. But her insidiousness is too subtle and she never really does anything that awful (she does influence an edgy Asian girl to throw a chair out a window, which was probably one of the most exciting things in the entire film). These films hinge on the spooky build up of tension, and here, none is created. We get a shot of moths in a room and one dark shot of tangled limbs on a bed. Snore.
At least I no longer have to lose sleep over wondering why Scott Speedman wasn't in the latest Underworld film--he was too busy sleazing up this movie as the requisite hot teacher who has ulterior motives. This counts as another storyline that fails to hit the mark, even though his only purpose is to make the audience shift uncomfortably in their seats and say "ew." Congratulations, everyone--you found a way to make Billy Zane in The Roommate look like an Oscar winner by comparison.
Plus, I don't think you could have a more anti-climactic ending if you tried. Director Mary Harron hit a huge home run with American Psycho, but this is much closer to the less-than-memorable The Notorious Bettie Page. It seems like one moment, we are going to finally get some Hot Vampire vs. Humans Action, but then the next, it ends unceremoniously. When the credits rolled I started whittling some wood with the hopes of running into The Cinematic Vampire Movement in a dark alley.