Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

"OK"

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Review


Based on the books by Darren Shan, this film is an introduction to a franchise, with the coloned title and preparatory storyline. It has a lively, engaging plot that keeps us engaged, even if it is yet another vampire romp.

Darren (Massoglia) is an A-student 16-year-old whose best pal Steve (Hutcherson) keeps getting him into trouble. When they hear about the underground Cirque du Freak, they can't resist a visit. There they meet ringmaster Mr Tall (Watanabe), bearded seer Truska (Hayek) a snake boy (Fugit), monkey girl (Carlson) and many more. But soon they're entangled with the show's star, vampire Crepsley (Reilly), and his mortal enemy Mr Tiny (Cerveris). And when Crepsley makes Darren a vampire, Steve gets so jealous that he joins the other side.

The plot's like a comical, teen-friendly version of True Blood, as the central conflict is between vampires who don't kill humans and the "vampirese" who do.

But instead dark and gothic, the filmmakers keep things light and often wacky.

Everyone cracks jokes, the violence isn't too grisly, and the characters and plot only get mildly shadowy. Although there is some serious subtext, mainly some bleak moments involving Steve's personal journey.

It of course helps that the cast is this colourful and talented. Reilly is marvellously tetchy as Crepsley, trying to teach the reluctant Darren the ropes while fending off Mr Tiny's scheme and resisting a romance with Truska. Hayek manages to create a bit more of a character than the cartoonish, cameo-style roles given to Dafoe, Krakowski, Fugit and others. And the teen trio are engaging and watchable, although only Hutcherson is required to show any real acting chops (which we already know he has).

As the big conflict boils over into a major showdown, the chain of events doesn't make very clear sense. Why does Mr Tiny bother with Darren when he already has Steve? Why do they play this sadistic game with hostages when previous scenes show them to be more ruthless than this? Less-demanding viewers won't care about these things, and it's likely that the next episode will deepen everything considerably. Sure, this light approach keeps it entertaining, but it also prevents it from being a classic.



Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd October 2009

Box Office USA: $13.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $28.2M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 51 Rotten: 84

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Ewan Leslie,

Starring: John C. Reilly as Larten Crepsley, as Steve, as Darren Shan, as Evra the Snake Boy, as Madame Truska, Jessica Carlson as Rebecca, as Mr. Tiny, as Murlaugh, Daniel Newman as Pete, as Annie, Don McManus as Mr. Shan, as Mr. Tall, as Alexander Ribs, as Rhamus Twobellies, as Gavner Purl, as Gertha Teeth, as Mr. Kersey, Tom Woodruff Jr. as Wolfman, as Corma Limbs, Drew Rin Varick as Loaf Head, as Mrs. Shan

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.