teenybopper fiction brought to life on the big screen, realized as the first installment in a potential franchise that fails to offer reasons why mainstream audiences will want to follow it any further.
The film was based on a series of twelve books (that) must've screamed "franchise pay cheques!" to actors like Dafoe, Hayek and Reilly, who would usually have known better.
Weitz's screenplay (with Brian Helgeland) contains liberal splashes of humour, but in the end the film lacks an emotional hook, perhaps thanks to the lacklustre performances of the young leads.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Promises more depth and substance than it delivers, leaving all the fireworks of the visuals to drive the film's appeal
This adaptation never quite reaches the sunlight. The difficulty is the credible integration of the normal world with that of the freaks
What in the heck is going on here? Not scary, not funny. The story gets lost in the woods. Paul Chambers, CNN.
| Original Score: D+
Reilly's Crepsley makes both the afterlife and any sequels to come equally appealing prospects.
Plenty of good elements here, but a lack of cohesion and a lackluster performance by the lead actor make the film at best a decent rental.
| Original Score: B-
Not a thing in this movie is subtle, from its cheesy special effects to its by-the-numbers storyline to its cardboard cutout characters.
The funny bits are amusing, the action entertaining, the themes simple, the promise of future tales tantalizing, and the overall feel of the movie is more charming than epic or scary.
| Original Score: 4/5
...a watchable (yet undeniably forgettable) endeavor.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
...not the pandering exploitation film you might expect. It's not all pentup sexuality, ripened teen flesh and brooding ashen untouchable boys.
| Original Score: 88/100
A colossal bore of a teen fantasy movie ... crammed with trite, prepackaged lessons.
Cirque spins its wheels in first installment.
| Original Score: 2.0/4.0
Older moviegoers who can recall the spate of like-minded horror flicks from the 1980s will find much to appreciate.
A fun, energetic adventure with plenty of inoffensive ghoulish touches that should please kid and adult horror buffs alike.
| Original Score: 3/4
Inept to the core, The Vampire's Assistant never rises to the occasion.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
To some extent, then, Paul Weitz's film is parasitically preying on an established trend, but it also has some fresh blood of its own.
| Original Score: 3/5
Infinitely more inventive than the sweetly romantic Twilight.
Its high production values - not to mention the world's cutest poisonous spider - can't paper over a tepid and drawn-out plot.
| Original Score: 2/5