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Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 29-09-2010

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Product Description
Welcome to the Cirque Du Freak, a traveling sideshow filled with magical creatures, misunderstood freaks, and the mysterious vampire, Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly). Drawn to the dark, unpredictable world of the Cirque, 16-year-old Darren (Chris Massoglia) decides to trade in his ordinary life for a chance to become an immortal vampire. As Darren explores his newfound powers and faces unexpected enemies, he’ll find that his existence as a member of the undead is… More >>

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

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Comments (5)

I will preface my review of this movie by saying that I much prefer Blade, From Dusk til Dawn and Underworld type vampire flicks that all have tons of action, violence and gore in them. Whenever you get into the PG-13 world you are going to get a much more friendly and watered down film with less brutality, violence and language. Reality and financing dictates that the movie studios have to appeal to a broader audience when possible to make enough money to allow the films I mentioned previously.

I am not familiar with the book that this movie is based upon. That being said this was a fun ‘teen oriented’ vampire movie with no significant violence or gore. This is a PG-13 (unfortunately) flick; you know it’s going to be in the vanilla spectrum so don’t expect Blade or Underworld. The CGI animation and coloring of John C. Reilly’s pet spider was amazing, but then again any quality CGI animation done nowadays should be and usually is amazing. The makeup effects, set design and costumes were well done and give the movie an interesting modern Gothic appearance and feel.

The characters were interesting and I found myself pretty involved in the story. Comparing this film to the wildly successful Twilight films, the two out so far any ways, Cirque is much more interesting. There are no moping or perfect looking Twilight characters and Cirque was just more interesting than both Twilight 1 and 2. I love John C. Reilly and vampire movies so this was my primary motivation for seeing this in the theater. Reilly’s character was not in his usual comedic or musical roles so it was good to see him do something completely different. Willem Defoe has a smaller role in this film and plays a very interesting vampire character as well.

All in all this movie is worth seeing and if you are a genre fan it is probably worth owning.
Rating: 4 / 5

Cirque du Freak is based on the first trilogy of The Saga of Darren Shan, a set of twelve books (four trilogies) by the Irish writer Darren O’Shaughnessy (pen name: Darren Shan, just like his hero’s). These teen/young adult oriented novels have a worldwide following and been translated to over 25 languages.

Darren is a teen with a charmed life: popular, smart, from an upper class family, he is destined for a productive and orderly life of college-job-family. This order however is disrupted one night, when, after some prodding from his troubled best friend Steve, Darren attends a late night performance of Cirque du Freak. When Darren’s actions put Steve’s life in danger, a vampire performer from Cirque du Freak is the only one with the power to save the young man. And so, Darren strikes a deal: in exchange for his friend’s life, Darren will abandon his family and become the vampire’s assistant; a half vampire himself. Unbeknownst to him, a war has been brewing between the two fractions of the vampire world. Both Darren and Steve are destined to be major players in the coming events…

Even though, clearly, I am beyond the teen/young adult years, I found the story compelling enough to investigate further. I am pleased to report that most of the film’s production values, including CGI, were impeccable. John C. Reilly as the vampire Larten Crepsley was surprisingly convincing. The number of big name actors who made an appearance in the film was astonishing. So, why only two stars? Well, there were two major problems:

1) The actors chosen to portray Darren and Steve not only lacked chemistry, but lacked the abilities to emote deep feelings. Consequently, what should have been a dramatic decision to leave his family comes across as nothing more then a minor blip on Darren’s schedule. What should have been a complex feud between two friends who go on to become leaders of the opposing vampire fractions, seemed as nothing more then two silly characters bickering at one another.

2) Secondly, even though the story was great, the script was poor. Despite the fact that we learned of the events in a chronological order, their lack of clarity was unacceptable.

The film ended with many unanswered questions. Counting on audience support, there were three sequences planned, one for each trilogy. I suppose those plans must be on hold at the moment, given the poor turn out at the box office. Shame really. I think the books disserved better…

Rating: 2 / 5

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant took me by surprise more than any other movie last year, and I couldn’t wait for it to come out on Blu Ray. Horror comedies, in my opinion, are hard to pull off because the director is trying to serve two audiences at the same time. The Vampire’s Assistant pulls this off very well as it simultaneously creates a dark, moody atmosphere while never letting things get too serious.

You can read about the story in the description, so I won’t get into detail about plot elements. The main story moved along at a good pace with never really any down-time or uneccesary scenes. If anything the movie is probably a little on the short side. This film, I believe would have been more well received if some of the characters and plot points were fleshed out a little more. There is simply too much story to cram into just under two hours. Despite the time constraints the cast does an excellent job of creating a dark atmosphere, all centered around the delightfully absurd world of a freak show. The comic elements are subtle but work better than other horror/comedies such as Zombieland (which I also love).

Visually the film is a delight, with excellent make-up and special effects, as well as sets that perfectly set the tone for each scene. Everything from the old theater, to the graveyard and the freak’s camp are visually stunning. The wolf man was probably the most impressive character in the film, and listening to the director (special features) talk about his vision of the wolf man and how it came to fruition in the film was very interesting.

I typically do not watch the special features, but I watched every single one and came away wishing there had been more. The tour of the freak camp was very cool, and each feature was presented in a creative manner.

This is a highly underrated film that probably could have done better at the box office with over-the-top gore or slap-stick comedy elements, which have become the status quo for Hollywood blockbusters. I’m not saying this film is for everyone, but if you’re into vampire films and don’t mind a good bit of comedy to keep things from getting to depressing, then I think you’ll really enjoy The Vampire’s Assistant. Get some popcorn, turn down the lights and turn up the volume. The show is about to begin…

Rating: 5 / 5

I did not know what to expect from this film. My wife really wanted to go and the trailers looked good – so we went.

The film had been out for only two weeks and was now showing in very few places which was not a good sign. When we got there, the theater was almost empty which was also not a good sign.

The movie was outstanding. It held my attention for the whole time. It was at once funny and serious. The thread of morality that ran through it was very thoughtful. For me, it had the sense of a European “art” film – perhaps a little too subtle for a few critics.

If you can get to see it, do so. If not, rent it when it comes out. I doubt you will be disappointed.

Rating: 5 / 5

I’m a fourteen year old girl, and I LOVED THIS!!! I went into the theater thinking this was going to be some lame teen vampire romance movie- it wasn’t!!! This was kind of scary, and hilarious at the same time. It’s all about a boy who is turned into a vampire and(duh) becomes the assistant to a vampire in a travelling freak show. The main guy, Darren, never wanted to be a vampire, but his best friend Steve did. Steve becomes jealous and joins the “bad” vampires, and they have a really cool fight scene at the end. The special effects aren’t cheesy, and didn’t make me laugh during all the fight scenes like the ones in Twilight did. Not to mention the two main guys are really cute! Me and my friend were glued to the screen the entire time, and didn’t even leave the theater for a free popcorn refill! I LOVED THIS MOVIE!
Rating: 5 / 5

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