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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: 6 Things to Know

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones © 2013 CTMG, Inc/Sony Pictures

Ordinary girl Clarissa "Clary" Fray (Lily Collins) has just gotten another year older, and wants to enjoy a night out with her best bud, Simon (Robert Sheehan). Feeling adventurous after attending a poetry slam ('cause who isn't after that?) Clary persuades her friend, who obviously wants to be more than just friends, to visit a nightclub. Fortune favors her when she comes upon a cool sign that Simon doesn't see, but a hunky guy with piercing eyes notices her noticing so he grants her access. From there she starts seeing much more dangerous and freaky things. Like sexy goth dancers who wear lethal jewelry.

All will be OK. Probably. Perhaps that brooding blond guy Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) will help her out. After all, he did appear in the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises...

Based on the bestselling Mortal Instruments books by author Cassandra Clare, directed by Harald Zwart the flick based on book one of the YA-series. Can this be a new franchise hit? Or will the YA crowd remain underwhelmed as they were with Beautiful Creatures? Check out these six need-to-know facts about the flick:

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Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Sony Pictures/Constantin Film International GmbH and Unique Features (TMI) Inc.

1. Angels, Demons and Werewolves, Oh My: All of these supernatural beings, plus vampires, are real in this universe. While no one has ever seen an angel, the peace-keeping Shadowhunters as they call themselves, are a hybrid of humans and the blood of those winged entities. Demons, vamps (called Night Children) and werewolves look as they always do nowadays: very CGI. The New York pack is led by Luke Garroway (Aidan Turner) who's very close to Clary and her mother Jocelyn (Lena Headey).

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Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Sony Pictures/Constantin Film International GmbH and Unique Features (TMI) Inc.

2. Runes Are Way Cooler Than Tats: On top of sporting the most black leather attire since The Matrix, nearly all the major characters have tattoos all over their perfectly sculpted arms and torsos. They look tribal, but they're runes: ancient symbols that can harness dark and light power. Basic runes offer healing and other protections. Each Shadowhunter gains different abilities so magic points may vary. 

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Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Sony Pictures/Constantin Film International GmbH and Unique Features (TMI) Inc.

 3. The Shadow World Is Not Fringe: When Clary starts to "see" what normal humans cannot, the magical place feels like yet another alternate universe of the week. The reality is more complex: a layer of our world that most just don't see. So a demon or hunter can occupy the same space as patrons attending that poetry-slam at Java Jones café. Baristas beware.

VIDEO: Lily and Jamie address split

Jared Harris, Lily Collins, Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Sony Pictures

4. The Institute Is Like Hogwarts During Summer Vacay: What mundanes (aka ordinary humans) see as an abandoned old church, is actually the headquarters for the Shadowhunters: Brooklyn chapter. Imagine Hogwarts with just a few students and a librarian-caretaker named Hodge (Jared Harris)—who kind of reminds us of Sunnydale's Giles. The place could use some sprucing up. Maybe paintings featuring chatty spirits?

PHOTOS: Surprising casting choices

5. That Beastie Looks Injected With the T-Virus: In an early scene, Clary returns home to find what she thinks is a really angry bulldog. Soon the canine morphs into a nasty tentacle-shooting fiend. Resident Evil producer Don Carboy adds just enough ick factor to make monster's menacing in a PG-13 teen film. To defend herself, Clary doesn't have the high kicks of RE's, Alice so she gets her MacGyver on with flammable household supplies.

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Sony Pictures/Constantin Film International GmbH and Unique Features (TMI) Inc.

6. The Most Important Instrument: The series is focused on Clary acquiring three mortal items: the cup, the sword, and the mirror. City of Bones focuses on Clary finding the goblet that a ne'er-do-well named Raziel used to mix his blood with the blood of humans. Where it's hidden is as sleight as a magicians' hand. 

Fan of the books? Do you think the big screen adaptation can conjure a mesmerizing spell on audiences? Sound off in the comments!

PHOTOS: Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie pics

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