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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
16 % by 5 users
(2009)

Darren Shan is a regular teenage kid. He and his friend Steve find out about a Freak Show coming to town and work hard at trying to find tickets. They do, and together they go to "Cirque du Freak" where they see many strange acts including a wolf-man and a bearded lady

Runtime:
1:49
Released:
October 23, 2009

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an insult to darren shan

Reviewed by lordypordy

this film is just a disater its like the director read the book and ripped pages from it and added the ripped pages togeather to make the story of the film. i hate everything about this film, mr crepsly is surposed to be skinny not a fat chubby niave twat who knows nothing about the character. the director tries making an epic trilogy from the books but instead makes it an epic fail. the director should just stick with american pie.

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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Reviewed by willyt

Right now, we're in the golden age of vampire flicks. Not just movies, though. There are books, merchandise, and T.V. shows including the HBO series "True Blood." Now added to this genre is "Cirque du Freak" and-even though the film was just o.k.-I'm happy that it was something besides "Twilight"

The movie focuses on a kid named Darren. His life is good until he meets a man at a freak show who ends up being a vampire. After a series of events Darren must leave his normal life to become a vampire himself.

Visually, the atmosphere of the film is great. I was surprised by the good special-effects, especially during the fight scenes. Despite the fact that I haven't read the book that this movie was based on, I was really able to feel the essence of the story due the fantastic production design and the intriguing look of the characters. The actual Cirque du Freak itself looks good. With all the tones of lighting used along with the costumes, I truly felt immersed in this experience.

So, what about the acting? Well, everyone's good except for the lead, Chris Massoglia, who plays Darren. It makes sense that I didn't recognize him because I'm sure no other director would want this fellow. Sorry kid, but the way you said your lines with such a simple, monotone voice made me fall asleep. John C. Reilly is good but it's a bit weird seeing a funny guy like him play a vampire. Josh Hutcherson is also good but the film belongs to an actor given a supporting role. Michael Cerveris plays a fat man ironically named Mr. Tiny. He makes one the best voices for a character this year. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Willem Dafoe given a small part in the movie.

And the writing? This is what really weighs the movie down. The script had me frustrated because of the fact that it's strongly confused with its tone. The writers try to rush in too much all at the same time. The film doesn't know whether or not it can be categorized in a horror, comedy, or family film. When the writing does have a normal tone it's bad because it's too simplistic.

The movie is pretty cut and dry. The design of the film is amazing but script is terrible. I feel like if I'd saw this before the Halloween season ended then I would've enjoyed it more because I would've been more in the mood for a movie like this one. If you're one of those vampire obsessed people then you'll definitely like this movie. Otherwise, I think it's a rental for when the DVD gets put on the shelf.

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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Reviewed by mutuel

Hollywood Review

The Vampire’s Assistant (PG) * *

Freak Out!

By ROBERT WALDMAN


Vampires are in. Perhaps it all began a few years back with the Underworld series followed in short order by the upstart Twilight saga. Grand daddy of them all Universal Studios, the masters of the horror genre from the 40’s to 60’s returns to the fore with Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. Campy in the extreme, this film’s very name conjures up efforts to turn the tale into a potential series. Given director Paul Weitz’s (About A Boy) nod to style viewers may yet become enchanted with this 108 minute yarn.

Some big name actors share screen time with a few upstarts in this tale of a few high school age boys who on a lark take in a rather unusual freak show. Being somewhat on the curious side one of these lads is into spiders while the other gets off on vampires. Little do they know that their lives will become intertwined forever once they go into a theatrical show that bills itself as the freakiest night ever.

Comedian John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) tries hard to hit the mark as Larten, a pioneer bloodsucker whose part of this ridiculous troop of misfits. Among the other older members of this tribe are a foxy diva played by Selma Hayek (Freda) and Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) whose been around the bloodsucking business before.

Special effects play a central part in this story and they are campy while the dialogue alternates between being dumb and dumber; characters come in and leave; characters come in and leave without many of these oddballs leaving that much of an impression. Scenes shot at school are mildly amusing to watch and seeing the battle unfolds between the vampires and other purveyors of doom and gloom are also rather tepid.

Even the length of this movie seems a bit off base while other aspects of it try to succeed aided by the deadpan delivery of Reilly whose always engaging to watch. End results are a story that mixes humour and far out horror being bland that leaves you drenched with only faint palpitations.

Read more reviews by Robert at www.moviereviewssite.com

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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Reviewed by thesubstream

Harry Potter-on-a-budget meets Twilight-for-tween-boys turned off by that film’s mushy stuff, the really really poorly titled Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is a mixed bag. Following the adventures of golden-boy Darren Shan (Chris Massoglia) as he is inducted into the Vampire/Freak brotherhood by the hilariously coiffed Larten Crepsley (the really funny John C. Reilly), the film details the end of a truce and the looming epic war between feuding vampire factions the Vampires, who do not kill their human meals, and the Vampanese, who do.

Crepsley, tired of the battle, finds satisfaction in a traveling freakshow, led by the very tall Mr. Tall (Ken Watanabe) who also has a very oddly shaped head. It features Patrick Fugit as a green snake-boy, Salma Hayek as a bearded lady and a wide variety of other freakish, supernatural outcasts. Their peace is threatened by the puffy, gross Mr. Tiny (Michael Cerveris) who longs to see a final showdown between the feuding factions and puts into motion a plan to turn two one-time best friends, Darren Shan and Steve Leonard (Josh Hutcherson) into warring leaders of each clan. It’s very convoluted, and it’s clear that the film is based on a lengthy, multi-volume book franchise, as the book struggles inelegantly under the weight of exposition and back-story.

As is seemingly unavoidable with these kind of adaptations – adaptations aimed at an audience that the filmmakers may feel would be poorly inclined towards wholesale changes to the source material – the film is replete with moments that are obviously explicated plot points in some book somewhere, but sit like leaden, confusing lumps in the middle of the film. Darren is turned into a “half-vampire”, but it is never explained exactly what that means, or how the process of turning someone into a half-vampire differs from turning someone into a regular vampire. Who is Mr. Tiny? Who is Mr. Tall? What relationship do the magical freaks actually have to the feuding vampires? All of this is left unexplained in a film that already groans and staggers to a dead stop near the end of the second act, as character after character takes his turn explaining their take on the current state of vampire/human/freak affairs. It’s stolid, cumbersome and really only comes to life when Reilly’s Krepsley is on-screen. He comes close to saving the film, which isn’t surprising, as he and Willem Dafoe as fellow Vampire Gavner Purl are the only actors who put anything approaching archness or levity into their roles.

The film has a bunch of neat ideas, a bunch of neat moments, and a couple of great performances but it ultimately suffers from the cardinal sin for this kind of kiddie fantasy: it bores. There’s way too much going on, and the film spreads its real first-half momentum so thin, over so many different plot points and sub-plots, that the second half just grates and ultimately feels like a slog. 4.8/10

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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Reviewed by laraemeadows

Marvelous reckless abandon in Cirque du Freak – The Vampire’s Assistant, falls prey to an invisible, ill timed hand of meaningless restraint. The restraint is not only unnecessary, it puts a lampshade over the brilliance in this movie.

Goodie-two-shoes Darren Shan (Chris Massoglia) and his bad influence friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson), sneak off to attend Cirque du Freak, a traveling freak show. Amongst the standard freak show staples is a beautiful dancing spider, Octa owned by Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) and Darren is instantly hooked. His obsession with the spider leads him down a path that changes his life forever.

I don’t know if writers Paul Weitz and Brian Helgeland were fighting with the studio or with each other, but there is an obvious push-pull in Cirque du Freak – The Vampire’s Assistant which leaves the viewer with whiplash. There are times during Cirque du Freak – The Vampire’s Assistant that I felt I was watching inspired film making. At other times, the inspiration is sucked into a vacuum of despair.

As is the theme with Cirque du Freak – The Vampire’s Assistant often, the conversations bounce between freakishly hysterical, and, not a moment later, is so bad the entire audience groaned, out loud while slapping their foreheads in disbelief. Literally.
At times, visuals were creative, interesting, glittering and spectacular. The exaggerated sets and stunts are almost enough to make me giggle like a little girl. Just as quickly as the child-like snickering came, it disappeared, and all that was left were loud colors and dreadful purple lighting dimly illuminating half-developed characters.

It may not have even been that the colors were dreadful, but that the scenes lasted way too long. Every aspect of Cirque du Freak – The Vampire’s Assistant lingered on screen long beyond its expiration date. In fact, each exaggerated aspect takes up so much time, the filmmakers didn’t have time to include a complete plot. They ended the movie somewhere around the middle of the plot, without a real climax and while leaving the door open for a sequel.

Cirque du Freak – The Vampire’s Assistant strives to satisfy one’s senses of whimsy, adventure, and fantasy with a bit of cinematic candy but the filmmakers leave it in the mouth so long, it becomes nothing more than a gag.

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