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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

The film based upon the vampire fantasy books by Darren Shan.

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Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

  • Dec 19, 2010
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In an age of horrible vampire films (I'm talking about you Twilight), we finally get a cool one. That being Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. I don't see how so many people hate this movie, because it's really good. I haven't read any of the books, so I can't judge it's faithfulness, but this is probably the only cool vampire film that has come out since Bram Stoker's Dracula. The only major problem is that it leaves the audience wanting more. More than they're probably ever going to get. That is truly sad because this is a great film.

First of all, the acting is great. Not only are the adult actors like Ken Watanabe, John C. Reilly, and Salma Hayek incredibly funny and great in their roles, but the young actors like Chris Massoglia and Josh Hutcherson are probably the best in the movie. The characters are well-written and fleshed out, boasting one of the coolest bad guys ever.

For those who don't know, this film centres around Darren Shan (Massoglia) and his friend Steve (Hutcherson) who come across two tickets to a freakshow called the Cirque Du Freak. There, they encounter all sorts of people with freakish talents, including Larten Crepsley (Reilly) who also happens to be a vampire. Darren steals Crepsley's spider, who bites Steve and puts him in a coma. To get the antidote, Darren agrees to become a half-vampire and work as Crepsley's assistant. He is reluctant and fakes his own death after he tries to kill his sister.

The story really starts to pick up at the traveling show camp, where Darren starts to live. Conflict also arises when Steve is made a vampaneze (bad vampire) and starts to lash out at everyone who wronged him, which includes Darren. I'm not going to say anything else, but Steve manages to be the main antagonist of the books, and one of the great literary villains.

The visual effects are just fantastic. They are actually underplayed though and are not the main focus of the movie, which is often the best way to go. You aren't there to admire the effects, the effects are there to help the story. To help with this explanation, I will tell you about my standards on good special effects. When I think of good special effects, I think of something realistic (like the Dinos and King Kong in King Kong or Gollum) or something stylized (like Scott Pilgrim or Kick-Ass). These are somewhat realistic looking, so they pass my standards on good.

If you haven't seen this film, it's most certainly worth a rental. The acting is good, the story is well told (whether or not it's faithful to the original books), and the visuals are great. Sadly, it leaves more ground for a sequel that probably will never happen. Hopefully it does happen though, because this is a great film. I haven't read any of the books, but seeing this movie really makes me want to. If nothing, then definitely worth a rental.

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December 19, 2010
I have yet to see this one.
More Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's... reviews
review by . May 21, 2010
2 ½ Stars: The War Between Vampires and
   Amid all the abysmal “Twilight” movies and the “Harry Potter” franchise, Universal Pictures and director Paul Weitz (brother of Chris Weitz, director of Twilight New Moon) aims to create a new franchise based on the books authored by Darren Shan. “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” is the film adaptation of the “Vampire Blood trilogy” in the “Saga of Darren Shan” book collection which garnered a good following …
Quick Tip by . December 06, 2010
Wow, this film was pathetic. Truly one of the lamest attempts to adapt a popular vampire book into a film. I haven't read the novels that inspired this abysmal effort, but after having seen this I have no desire to read them. It's amazing to me that so many talented actors were involved in this film. I can only imagine that they wanted to cash in on the current teen vampire trend. Circus freaks and vampires versus the "Vampaneze"? Give me a break!
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
entertaining movie, the books where way better as always. a little disappointing that with all the good actors in this movie that the outcome wasn't better.
review by . May 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was OK. Nothing spectacular but it didn't suck either. I can't quite decide which way to go on this, so I'll say 3 stars.
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About this movie


  • 16-year-old Darren (Chris Massoglia) was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson), got decent grades and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and his buddy stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. That’s the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) turns him into something, well, bloodthirsty. Newly undead, he joins the Cirque Du Freak, a touring sideshow filled with monstrous creatures from a snakeboy and a wolfman to a bearded lady (Salma Hayek) and a gigantic barker (Ken Watanabe). As Darren flexes his newfound powers in this dark world, he becomes a treasured pawn between the vampires and their deadlier counterparts. And while trying to survive, one boy will struggle to keep their brewing war from devouring what’s left of his humanity. -fandango.com

Poster art for "The Vampire's Assistant."


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Director: Paul Weitz
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: October 23, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Paul Weitz, Brian Helgeland
Runtime: 109 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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