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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Reviews

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Christian C

Super Reviewer

April 3, 2014
Forget the Vampire -- the casting director clearly needs assistance! Dumb and poorly cast, but the film had a strange, Baroque charm that made it mildly entertaining nevertheless. And I can't help feeling that pitting the "vampires" against the "vampanese" (i.e., the violent vamps) was obliquely racist.
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2010
Playing out much like a young adult fiction book (which it's based off of) it's very clear that the slight disjointed feeling of the plot is the entire studio's fault more than the script's. They are trying to make the next children's franchise with the adaptation of the book of the same name by Darren Shan. The story suffers from the fact that they won't tell us anything concrete or lasting. The characters shown aren't all too developed, mostly because of the bias against using characters that were freaks. They slap on some moral message about equality, friendship, and the choices we make versus who we are, and they believe they can simply define someone as a freak and don't need personalities, relationships, and the intricacies of someone we all want to watch. Yeah, some lackluster effects are good and all, but I would rather hear what Jane Krakowski has to say then see her arm grow back (which was surely the most illogical part of the film.) Using her as an example, I didn't get to know that character one iota. Besides the likable main characters and crass word choice none of this ran as a film with a true plot, but an extenuation of a series of films. It wasn't even a true kids movie, since there is unneeded swearing and some strange choices in violence, the definition of what adolescents say in private, and the romantic angle between Darren (Massoglia) and some nothing girl who is, you guessed it, also a freak. The effects were, for the most part, very low grade, and the mythology between vampires and the "Vampenese" first of all just sounds like veiled racism, and second made either no sense, or left me incredulous. The powers of the vampires have been improved or made new amongst the other hollow vampire related faire as of late, but it wasn't enough to keep it from being camp. Reilly is for sure the best aspect of this film, though he shouldn't fit along with the rest of the cast. Yes, his accent is hard to place or awkward throughout, but his crude weirdness works well with the personality of the character. Most of the stars are for the fact I somewhat enjoyed myself even with all these flaws because it was never meant to be perfection, but some strange sub strait. I just wonder if it will indeed lead to a series of films.
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

November 14, 2011
Bad acting in this unfaithful unfantastic adaption to a fantastic book. John C Reilly gives a good performance but even he cant save the film from its unconsistent pacing.
Marc L.
Marc L.

Super Reviewer

July 6, 2011
Once there was a book series called "Cirque Du Freak"...And it ROCKED! The characters were interesting, the plot had plenty of twists, and the story was pretty creati9ve. So when I heard there was a movie based of Cirque Du Freak, I had to see it. I loved the book series, I'd love the movie...It blew.

Not everything was horrible. The acting was actually really good, particularly the child actors. New comer Chris Massoglia was actually a nice surprise. He played Darren Shan really well. John C. Reily was amazing too, even if this isn't really his kind of movie. The biggest surprise was Steve Hutcherson, who was actually kind of menacing at some times. In fact, the only actor who did a bad job was Ray Stevenson.

Now I can go on to what I didn;t like. First of all, for other fans of the book series, this is absolutely NOTHING like the book. I think what most annoyed me was Darren's love interest, Rebecca the Monkey Girl. That's right, not Debbie, the Monkey Girl. Who is this Monkey Girl? She was NEVER mentioned in the book. Also, Evra's orgins are completely different too. In the movie, he was found in the dumpster. In the book, he was raised by a sadistic sideshow owner who beat him, but was rescued by the Cirque du Freak.

Another bad thing about the movie was Ray Stevenson's portrayel as Murlough. In the book, Murlough was crazy, sadistic, evil, clever and menacing. I've seen teddy bears more menacing than Ray Stevenson's Murlough, and he's the farthest thing from clever that you can get.

While "Cirque Du Freak" may not be superbad, it is very, very, VERY far from being great and is still pretty bad.
Thomas J

Super Reviewer

November 29, 2010
Cute, but being older than the target demographic, I think somethings were lost for me.
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 29, 2010
This wasn't a great movie but I had fun. B
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

October 18, 2009
Did not hold my attention. No real shock there - me and my great love of kids movies. In all fairness, has a decent cast, and I did at least get more than halfway through it before becoming brain numbingly bored. I suppose it is okay for a kid's movie, and if you like them, you may even enjoy this. But personally, didn't do a lot for me. Anything with a stupid CG spider running around is not exactly thrilling viewing. As for those claiming it is better than Twilight... as if.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

October 9, 2009
It was a dark movie but It felt like that they wanted to make it a comedy too and failed truly. I was bored at certain times at the movie because it lacked a good story line but basically this movie is just a popcorn movie to rent if there's nothing else good on the tv thus whoever saw this on the cinema wasted his money truly.

Teenager Darren Shan is an excellent student and the pride and joy of his perfect middle-class family; his best friend is the reckless Steve. When they receive a flyer with an advertisement for a freak show, they sneak to the theater to see the attractions. The ringmaster is a vampire called Larten Crepsley, that has a lethal spider. After the show, Steve tells Darren to go home. However he returns and overhears Steve unsuccessfully trying to convince Larten to transform him into a vampire. Darren steals Larten's spider which bites Steve later and he seeks out Larten asking for an antidote for his friend. Larten proposes a deal to Darren.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

October 1, 2010
The first and probably only addition to the Cirque Du Freak's already dead franchise. It failed in the box office which means that the sequel will probably never come. Although the story and plot are very average, I am actually anxious to see the unfinished ending continue. This film waited too long to be good which was a let down, because now I want much more. Sadly, I don't think it's coming. The film is not all that great, but even so, I give it credit for taking on a dark tone as a children's book adaptation. John C. Reilly finally isn't his old stupid self and Josh Hutcherson actually brings a serious role (his first in a while) to the table. Darren Shan was an interesting character for the story, but the movie was all over the place. It is pretty sloppy, but at the same time it was pretty fun to watch. Still, I can't say that I liked it, because it is not a good movie. However, I wish they could find a way to make the sequel, because if you watch this movie you know there is somewhere interesting they can bring the story.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

August 16, 2009
This adventure (not a horror) film is well done based on the novel. And some entertaining story of the freaks in the show that surprised me. John C. Reilly does a really great job acting so is Salma Hayek looks stunning.
Sometimes the acting and action scenes were bad. Some of the effects looked fake. And the fact that it all ended with an ordinary rumble was a disappointment. The ending seemed very rushed.
Emily A

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2010
It's hard to know what to make of this movie. The story moves forward, sure, but it seems to spend too much time showing you things that aren't important. Yup, here are all the freaks, each unique and laid out end-to-end. Why aren't we seeing what the main character's friend is doing all this time, if he's such a vital character to the grand scheme of things in the supernatural world? It sure as hell would have made the end make more sense.I get the feeling that everything would come together when you watch this and its inevitable sequals all together, but until those movies come out, this saga is going to feel incomplete.

Granted, all the characters in the circus are cool looking and fairly engaging (I especially liked the snake boy, who's really laid back and takes to calamity rather casually), but I get the feeling that this film focus entirely on the wrong ones. Not enough time is devoted to the villains and thier motivations, and it really didn't matter to me who won in the end. But an aside: guys, do you really expect me to believe that in a fight between Dewey Cox and The Punisher, that The Punisher would lose? Cam-aaaaahn! Another thing that struck me was how dark this is for a children's film. It's full of swearing and flippant violence, and the two main characters' families get thrown away just a little too easily. I look forward to seeing this story get fleshed out and completed, but I resent being made to wait for that to happen. You're supposed to get it all done in a single film.
Alexis N

Super Reviewer

July 8, 2010
i thought it was so good. very visual. i hope they make a second one.. it's a good plot. why not run with it?
James A

Super Reviewer

June 27, 2010
An OK movie based on a children's series that will never see its sequals appear due to poor box offive performance.
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

October 21, 2009
"Meet Darren. He's sixteen going on immortal."

A young boy named Darren Shan meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a Vampire. After a series of events Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque Du Freak and become a Vampire.

REVIEW
Odd mix of horror, comedy and teen angst works only in fits and starts. Based on one of the Cirque du Freak series of books and made in the (failed) hopes of starting another huge money making series of films this is the story of Darren who ends up having to go on the road with the Cirque du Freak, a vampire circus in order to protect the people he loves. Full of great actors doing neat little character parts the film is a nice show case for their varied talents. Personally I stayed to the end of the film, not because of the story, rather because people like Willem Dafoe, Ken Wantanabe, Orlando Jones and Salma Hayek were clearly having a good time. For me the story isn't anything special and has the feeling of a ghoulishly dressed up coming of age tale that's been done before any number of times. It also doesn't help that even if you weren't aware going in, the film doesn't really have an ending, rather its the start of a much longer tale, with the result that numerous plot points are tossed into the air with no sign of landing. As the minutes closed I became very aware that this was not going to be a neat ending and was ultimately going to be a very expensive commercial for the books (I doubt there will be a film sequel). Worth a look if you like monsters and such, and don't mind the proceedings tinged with humor, but I'd wait for cable or DVD.
Pedro H

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2009
Saw the trailer and looks suprisingly diffrent, there4 looks good
Phil H

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2010
I was disappointed with this vampire flick, I know its a kids film and based on a young persons book series but I was kinda hoping for more yet I can't quite put my finger on what or why I didn't quite like this hehe sorry about that. Its very good in the way vampires are portrayed as a more realistic species but this also seems to take the fantasy element away for me which in turn made it slightly dull. Another nice feature is the fact it is a kids film but older people will enjoy too as it's not a babyish affair and can be a touch adult in places, darker than most with afew nice funny touches. The designs and style on show are nice in places but not outstanding, makeup is good on the freaks especially the 'tacky' looking werewolf (looking kinda silly on purpose? I'm not sure) and casting is decent with Reilly hitting a home run as the leading vamp. Still can't escape the ravages of crap cgi though haha it can kill a film dead, bullet in the head I'm afraid and this is close.

The one major thing that springs to mind for me is the simple fact that this is yet another kids fantasy story hoping, wanting and trying for a Harry Potter-esq sequel laden franchise (all three books) and really offers nothing new to anyone from the already bloated list of kids films in the same vain. The 'market' is saturated with these type of films now, one after another, it is a shame as they all come across too similar and after 'Potter' tend to fail yet some don't really deserve to. This is a good story and could be really good buts it's just come too late in the day now, you can tell even before it's begun :(
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

January 19, 2010
20/01/2010

CINEMAS

I should of waited till it came out on DVD... The movie is not bad but I don't think its worth the Deluxe cinema in my opinion...

I really enjoyed the trailer so I give up the standing ovation for the Awesome trailer that did a great job of convincing me to spend my money on the Deluxe Cinema to watch the whole film which bored me...

Its not that bad, but now that I've seen it... I would encourage people to wait and hire it when it comes out on DVD/ BlueRay or... if you really wanna see it on the Big screens then I suggest the standard theater rather than the Deluxe...

But that's up to you...

[[..p.s.. stop watching the copied movies on the net. There's nothing quite like the Cinemas!!! ... Experience the real thing!!!! ^_^ !!!!!]]
Michael S

Super Reviewer

October 22, 2009
I know many people will love "The Vampire's Assistant" in a campy, so bad-it's good sort of way, and it may eventually achieve cult status, but it just really didn't work for me AT ALL!
Alexander W

Super Reviewer

October 26, 2009
Cirque du Freak is an average movie. The best part are the special effects and unfortunately this is not enough at the end to pull this movie out from the circus tent and compete with some of the blockbusters and standard of acting today. I think its an original idea but using too many "film techniques" seen before. Nothing original in the director.
Kyle F.
Kyle F.

Super Reviewer

November 13, 2009
With an overall spectacular (even though a little flat at points)performance by John C. Reilly, "The Vampire's" Assistant is adapted and directed well, although at times it can be corny. The overall effect is funny and exciting.
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